emergency fostering

Emergency foster care

Emergency foster care provides a vulnerable child with a place to stay when it's not safe for them to stay at home.

emergency foster care

What is emergency foster care?

Emergency fostering placements are when children and young people need to be placed in emergency foster care, particularly when there’s an immediate risk of harm at home, such as:

  • Violence in the home and the child is in danger
  • An accident or fire at home
  • The child’s parents have experienced a sudden illness or passed away

In these emergency situations, foster parents provide vulnerable children with somewhere safe to stay and comfort them during these times of uncertainty and distress. 

Emergency fostering placements may be required at any time of the day or night. We provide a 24-hour placement service to local authorities, so we’re able to support children in these emergency situations.

emergency foster care

How long do emergency foster placements last?

Emergency foster care placements tend to last for a day or two, while social workers assess the child’s family situation and, if the circumstances are appropriate, locate family members who may be able to look after the child while the situation is stabilised.

There are some circumstances where an emergency placement may extend into several weeks or months, and even become a longer term placement, if appropriate.

emergency fostering payments

Emergency fostering payments

Foster parents receive a generous fostering allowance, up to £75 per night, which varies depending on your level of experience.

As an emergency foster parent, you may also decide to support other foster families by providing respite foster care. This gives them a short break from fostering, so they can relax and unwind. Therefore, in addition to the allowance you receive from any emergency foster care that you provide, you could also receive additional income for respite care.

Foster parents receive 22 nights respite per year, so you could receive up to £1,650 per family that you support – assuming they require their full respite allowance – while playing an important role in supporting the stability of a child in care.

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emergency foster care placement: mother and foster child

Who can become an emergency foster parent?

Children who need an emergency foster home are often frightened, distressed and anxious. The chaos of the situation is likely to disrupt their stability and affect their behaviour. 

Therefore, providing an emergency placement requires foster parents to be flexible, able to respond to an individual child’s needs, and calls for special skills and preparation. There may also be very little information provided about the child and their experience. In an emergency situation, your night might be interrupted by an emergency call and you must be able to immediately provide a child or siblings with a safe home, unreserved comfort and support, patience and understanding, and a positive sense of security.

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Transfer fostering agency process

Get in touch with the team