What Is Short Break Foster Care?

Short break foster care, as indicated in the name, is a type of foster care that provides a small break to the full-time foster carers. They can take a much-needed break knowing that the young people are in good hands and taken care of. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about short-break foster care, the young people who need it, and what its criteria are etc. 

What Is Short Breaks Fostering?

This way, the full-time caregivers or even the birth parents can take a temporary break as they are giving the young people undivided attention daily and consistently. 

It is beneficial for both the young people and the full-time foster carers. The carers will be more energetic when dealing with young people after they get the break. And it can be a change of environment for the young people who need special care and attention. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, 80% of foster parents reported improved overall well-being after utilising short break foster care. 

It can be provided regularly or for short periods as it depends on the needs of the child and the foster family.

What Is A Short Break For Carers?

A short break for carers is a temporary placement where the child stays with a short-break foster carer for a short time, ranging from a few hours to several days.

Just like a short break in foster care is a temporary change for children and young people, a short break for carers is like a much-needed break for the full-time carers from taking care of young people. 

Are There Different Types Of Short Break Fostering?

There are different types of short break fostering to suit the needs of young people accordingly. The names are:

  • Short term fostering
  • Long term fostering
  • Fostering siblings
  • Emergency fostering
  • Short break fostering 
  • Parent and child fostering 

Who Are The Children Who Require Short Break Fostering?

  • Young people with disabilities who need special needs or have complex medical conditions require a short break fostering. 


  • Families or foster parents who are facing a challenging time can also have a break, and children can have a nurturing environment who have experienced any trauma.
  • Children can enter short-term fostering if their carer has other engagements, for example, holidays, weddings etc. 

Who Can Become A Short Break Foster Carer?

Anyone can become a short-break foster carer if they meet certain criteria and requirements. 

If you want to become a short-break foster carer but do not have the proper training and experience, then you can join our training sessions

We issue our training calendar in November every year, so you have plenty of time to contemplate your decision and choose which course to take. 

Following is the list of our training courses. Some are mandatory, and some are optional.

  • Advanced Safeguarding
  • Secure Base
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Record Keeping
  • Attachment
  • Managing Transitions
  • Communicating with Children & Young People
  • De-Escalation Techniques
  • Therapeutic Parenting
  • Teenage Development & Managing Behaviour
  • Self-harm

Previous experience in childcare is not always necessary, but flexibility to accommodate short break placements is important.

Even after the training, if you feel the need for guidance or any support, you can contact us. We are always there to support short-break foster carers like you!

What Is The Process Of Becoming A Short Break Foster Carer?

Do you want to become a short break foster carer also? Let’s discuss the process then.

  1. It begins with a brief inquiry call with one of our operators or team members. 
  2. Then we schedule a home visit to check for the necessary requirements.
  3. After that, you have to fill out and submit an online application form. 
  4. Then your application is processed. We will check for your medical history, financial status, and personal references for assessment purposes.
  5. Then there are 5-6 team visits for assessment.
  6. After that, the assessment is either approved or denied based on the whole process. 

This whole process can take about 5-6 months. It is a long time, but to ensure the health and safety of children and young people, it is mandatory to comply with every procedure. 

Furthermore, you can access our guide here to become a foster parent!

What Is The Impact Of Short Break Fostering On Children?

Short break fostering offers great results, like providing stability and consistency for children in foster care by promoting their independence and social skills. 

Furthermore, it provides a safe and nurturing environment specifically customised for young people with special needs and medical conditions. 

The bond formed between short-break carers and children positively impacts their emotional well-being by establishing a sense of belonging and security. It plays an important role in enhancing the overall development and well-being of young people in the foster care system.

What Is The Financial Aspect Of Short Break Fostering?

The local government allows and provides a financial allowance for the short-break foster carers to take care of young people. 

It ensures that the young people are given all the care and necessary equipment they need. 

Short break foster carers receive a financial allowance to cover the child’s care costs. 

The amount of allowance is based on the needs of young people. It ensures a nurturing environment for the young people. 

How Does Family Care Support Short Break Fostering?

Family Care is a renowned agency in the UK that offers valuable support for short-break fostering. It provides much-needed respite not only for young people with disabilities or complex needs but is also dedicated to providing training and support to foster carers.

It does so by ensuring that they are equipped to meet the young people’s needs. 

At Family Care, we work with local authorities to ensure the best support and services to short-term foster caregivers and the young people who are receiving it.

Currently, there are 44,500 foster families in England, and still, there is a need for at least 7000 more foster families. 

It depicts the need for a more vast foster care system and a proper support system for the foster carers as well. 

Get In Touch With Us Today

Short break foster care is a wonderful and rewarding experience for those who want to make a difference by helping those in need. It can bring such a positive and beautiful change to the lives of young people by giving them the much-needed attention and care they deserve and need.

If you want to become a foster caregiver as well, then get in touch with us now. Family Care will always guide and support you throughout the process.

Visit our website and be ready to change the lives of young people. 


Could You Be a Foster Parent?


The shortage of foster carers in the UK greatly affects vulnerable children.

This can result in children being placed far from their loved ones and being separated from their siblings, as well as their school and friends.


Did you know that historically, 70-80% of foster placements have been within 20 miles of the child’s home? While this benefits many children who can maintain their school and friendship groups, it also means that 20-30% of placements are further away.


For children coming to live with our foster families at an average age of 10, a change of school is often inevitable. However, we are dedicated to finding families in local areas with high demand to

minimise disruptions.


If you live in the Northwest or the Midlands and are interested in exploring becoming a foster carer, we are here to support you every step of the way.


Read about our application process here.


Get in touch with us by completing our short inquiry form online, or call us at 0800 5 677677.

There is no obligation for anything more than a chat.


Start Your Fostering Journey Today


Foster care is a pivotal part of the child welfare system, offering temporary homes and support to children and teenagers in need. It embodies a commitment to these vulnerable individuals’ safety, well-being, and best interests, with the ultimate goal of reuniting families whenever possible or finding permanent, loving homes through adoption or guardianship when necessary. Understanding foster care is crucial for society, as it plays a significant role in ensuring every child can grow up in a secure and nurturing environment.



Healing Pasts | Building Futures
Since 1988

0800 5 677 677

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