General fostering

Watch our video on types of fostering

Thank you for your interest in helping a local child by fostering for Gloucestershire County Council. We believe there is a kind of fostering to suit almost everyone.

There are many types of fostering and you can decide on the one that suits you and your circumstances. Many of our foster carers do more than one kind of fostering, while some choose to specialise in a particular kind.


  • Our emergency foster carers give children a safe home to go to immediately, no matter what hour of the day or night. This is usually for a short period, while decisions are made about what would be best for the child.

Read what Lindsey has to say about being an emergency foster carer.

  • Our respite foster carers build a relationship with a child who regularly stays with them for short periods, like a weekend, to give their parents or foster carers a break. We ask our respite foster carers to commit to at least two weekends a month and to care for children of all ages. At the moment, we particularly need respite carers for children over 10 years old.

Read what Pam has to say about being a respite carer.

  • Short term fostering can mean looking after a child for anything from a few days to a couple of years while decisions are made about their future.

    Read what Richard has to say about being a short-term foster carer for young asylum seeking children.

  • Our long term foster carers welcome children into their homes as part of their family until they are ready to be independent. When it is clear that children are unable to return home, we prioritise finding them a home with long-term foster carers so that they can feel settled as soon as possible.

Read what Elaine has to say about being a long-term foster carer to two young brothers.


  • Once you have gained the experience, you will have the opportunity to train to become a specialist foster carer, looking after a parent and their child or children with more complex needs.

To find out more about the children and young people who need foster homes, read the information on the About our children page.


Download our information pack

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