Birmingham Fostering curve.

Children and young people who are fostered are not able to live with their birth family, which can be for any number of reasons. Therefore, foster carers may be required to care for a child or young person for a short period of time, perhaps due to a crisis in the child’s or young person’s birth family, or for longer periods of time where it has been decided that a child or young person can’t be safely cared for within their birth family. 

During your assessment your supervising social worker will discuss with you what types of children you are open to fostering and will make a recommendation about what type of foster care to approve you for.

Mainstream fostering

There are two types of mainstream fostering these are short-term and long-term fostering.

Short-term fostering

Most children come into care short-term whilst social workers complete assessments in order to make plans for a child to either return to their birth family or to find a permanent placement through adoption or long-term fostering. As a short-term foster carer you will offer a home to lots of different children over time.

Long-term fostering

Most children who are fostered return to their birth family, but for some this is not possible and therefore these children require a long-term foster home. Many children who need long-term homes are aged 8 years and above and often need a foster home that they can share with their brothers and sisters. Caring for a child long-term means you support them into young adulthood. This often includes supporting their contact with their birth family over the years.

Sometimes our young people stay with their foster carers after their 18th birthday, this is known as ‘Staying Put’. 

Other types of fostering 

Step Up fostering

Step Up fostering helps to find foster carers for children and young people who are ready to leave residential care. Step Up fostering is best suited to individuals who have previous experience of working with children and young people.

Emergency fostering

Emergency fostering is a vital type of fostering, which is rewarded with a very generous allowance and leave package, to reflect the demanding nature of the role.

Emergency foster carers care for children who have to be taken into care in emergency situations, in the day or at night. They will look after the children for up to 72 hours or occasionally this can be longer. Children placed in emergencies vary in age from new born babies up to 18 years of age.

Can I be an Emergency Foster Carer?

To become an Emergency Foster Carer you will need to meet the legal minimum requirements for fostering.

You will need to:

  • Have at least one spare bedroom
  • Have a fixed permanent residence in the UK
  • Have experience of looking after children, particularly in challenging and demanding environments
  • Be able to drive and have access to a car
  • If you are a smoker (including e-cigarettes and vaping) you will only be able to care for children aged 5 and over

You will also need to be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • An active lifestyle
  • Creative thinking
  • Resilience and determination
  • Commitment to achieving good outcomes for children and young people
  • Be committed to training and developing your skills
  • Be able to commit to our Practice Model – Connections Count

Our offer to you

In addition to a generous allowance and annual leave package, we will offer you extensive training and 24 hours support every day of the year.

Our training and support package includes:

  • An experienced and dedicated Senior Practitioner
  • 24 hour telephone support should you need it
  • Daily contact with your Senior Practitioner and access to support via other dedicated Senior Practitioners
  • Regular Supervision
  • Emergency Foster Carer Support Group (every other month)
  • Access to TESS (Therapeutic Emotional Support Services)
  • Emergency Carers own Buddy Group
  • Training in a huge range of subjects
  • Dedicated Business Support

Pay and allowances

Emergency Foster Carers are paid very generous allowances, even when not caring for any children. Please enquire for the most up-to-date pay amount.


Upcoming Information Events

We hold a full calendar of information evenings throughout the year for people who are considering fostering.


11th Jul

Information Event

The Shires, 216 Wake Green Road, Moseley, B13 9PQ


18th Jul

Information Event

Online via Teams

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Birmingham Fostering curve.