Types of Fostering


Apply Online- Fostering Enquiry Form  


Time Limited Foster Carers

Time limited foster carers provide short term placements to children/young people who are in the care of Milton Keynes Council. The period of care might be for a few days, a few months or sometimes longer, carers need to be flexible about how long a child can stay with them. The essential feature is that the placement is temporary whilst plans are made for the child's future. Time limited carers are paid a fee as well as allowances for the child.

Remand Foster Carers

Remand foster carers provide placements for young people who have been remanded to the care of the local authority by the court. These are short term placements working with young people who are subject to criminal proceedings and where the court has decided that it is not appropriate to place the young person back with their family.

Remand Care means these young people can be cared for in a safe environment whilst they wait for decisions to be made by the Court process. These placements can vary in length.

Teen Turnaround (formerly Tier 3) Specialist Foster Carers

Tier Three Specialist Foster Carers provide locally based foster care to children and young people who have the highest level of need and present challenges for those meeting such needs.

Tier Three Specialist foster care is designed to provide specialist care to children and young people who have been identified as requiring an intensive support package through placement and multi-disciplinary professional input. Children/young people looked after under this scheme can have high level of needs, display challenging behaviours and may have experienced multiple placement breakdowns. Tier Three Specialist Foster Carers will be based locally and will be committed to promoting children and young people’s self-worth within a family environment.

Permanent Foster Carers

Permanent foster carers provide a permanent home to children and young people where the plan for the child / young person is not to return home to their family and for whom adoption is not the best option. It is expected that the child / young person would live with foster carers until they reach 18 years and in some circumstances, longer. The important factor for foster carers who offer permanence is that the child/ young person becomes a part of the fostering family.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)

We need to increase our number of approved foster carers to look after unaccompanied asylum seeking children due to the national humanitarian crisis. The children and young people will require a range of placements from short-term emergency through to longer term foster care.

Most of the unaccompanied young people who are likely to need foster placements are from a range of countries across the Middle East and Africa. However there may also be children placement needs from any country, gender and age.

UASC are amongst the most traumatised and vulnerable children due to their experiences in previous countries.  In some cases the young people will speak little or no English when they arrive, and may have travelled for many weeks and months before arriving here. Such experiences mean that they will need time, space and support from people and families who can offer a safe home to allow them to begin to rebuild their lives.

Milton Keynes Council is particularly interested in speaking to people who have considerable experience of young people with trauma and/or experience of one or more of the countries or cultures of origin that these young people are likely to come from.  As a foster carer you can help these children overcome their traumatic past and give them the skills to build a new life.

Respite Foster Carers

Respite foster carers provide short breaks to families to help maintain a child or young person in their own family by relieving stressful situations and potentially more serious breakdown. These are usually one-off periods of care however in some instances we match you with a particular child so that they can benefit from regular respite with the same foster carer. Respite carers also offer support to other foster carers by caring for a child who is placed with those foster carers to ensure the placement succeeds for all concerned.

Support Foster Carers

Support foster Carers provide short breaks including overnights to a particular child working to a contract of care of up to nine months, with the plan for the child to return fully to the care of their family.

This intervention relieves stressful home situations and is beneficial to all involved.

Family Link Carers

Family link carers are approved to provide short breaks to children with learning (and sometimes additional physical) disabilities where the child’s main home is with their family or possibly permanent foster carer. The short breaks which take place in the family link carer’s home can vary from a few hours to an overnight stay. The process of assessment and approval is the same as foster carers and their approval is recommended at the fostering panel.

Private Foster Carers

Private foster carers are people who care for a children by an arrangement between a parent and the carer who may be known or unknown to them.

Where a child under 16 years (or 18 with disabilities) is living with a person who is not a close relative or legal guardian and this is for more than 28 days, then this child is being privately fostered.

Host families who look after children studying with language schools would also be classified as private foster carers.

Under The Children Act 1989, all councils must be told about any private fostering arrangements as they have a legal requirement to ensure that children's welfare is being safeguarded.

We are here to offer information, advice and give support to anyone who is involved with or have knowledge about a private fostering arrangement.

Looking after children (PDF, 110KB)

What is Private Fostering (PDF, 158KB)

Supported Lodgings

Supported Lodgings is shared accommodation where the landlady/landlord (known as Supported Lodgings Provider) provides a young person (lodger) with practical and emotional support with a view to increasing their confidence and readiness to move onto their own home.

From the age of 16 some young people decide that they want to be more independent than within a foster home, but they either lack confidence or the skills required for them to move into their own bedsit/hostel accommodation. Supported Lodgings offers them the opportunity to experience elements of independence within a supportive and encouraging environment.

Reasons why a young person may enter Supported Lodgings:

In Milton Keynes we have a constant need for carers for young people aged 16 to 21 who are unable to live at home with their families. This could be for many different reasons – for example:

• Young person is leaving the care of the Milton Keynes Council

• Young person has been asked to leave the family home

• Family breakdown

• Young person has been in trouble

• Young person has been misusing drugs and/or alcohol and needs a supportive environment to help them change

• Risk of harm

Young people who are unable to live at home can be extremely vulnerable. In many respects these young people may appear to be confident but they do not have the skills and confidence to live alone successfully.

Without the security of a safe place to live and the guidance of caring and responsible adults there is a strong possibility that many of these young people may fail – ending up jobless and homeless and with little hope of things getting better.

How can you help?

We need local people to become involved in the Stepping Stones Supported Lodgings Scheme. If you have some experience of having adolescents or working previously with adolescents, it would certainly be useful, but most of all we need supported lodgings providers who can appreciate the difficulties which these young people have encountered. As a result of their experiences, some young people can present quite challenging behaviour and therefore lodgings providers will need to be able to offer commitment, patience and be sympathetic.

If you:

  • Have a spare room in your house.
  • Are willing to welcome a young person in need into your home.
  • Are able to provide encouragement, support and guidance.
  • Are aged over 25 years old, married with a partner or single.
  • Employed or not employed.
  • Have internet and computer/laptop access 

You could make a positive difference to the life of a young person.

Because of different personal experiences, individual skills and levels of confidence, every young person has different needs.

Some youngsters will just need a safe place to live while others will need a higher degree of support and encouragement to help them develop self-confidence. They may be reasonably independent and able to look after themselves (doing their own cooking, washing up etc) whilst others will need help to develop these practical skills in order that when they are ready to obtain their own accommodation they can maintain a tenancy successfully.

As a Provider you will need to be flexible enough to provide the level of support needed by the young person in your care.

Once you have read about the types of fostering, we hope that you will be more informed about the options that might be open to you and more importantly, help you decide whether you can open your home to a child or young person in need.

How to apply to be a carer

Complete the Online Enquiry Form if you feel you are able to offer a caring, loving and safe environment to care for children. Once the Online Enquiry Form is completed a member of the fostering team will normally contact you within 2 working days.

Last Updated: 18 July 2018