Long-Term Fostering

Establish long term goals and aspirations with a child which will have a lasting positive impact on their life.

Foster children sharing chair

What is Long-Term Fostering?

A long-term fostering placement refers to when a child or young person is placed with a foster carer for a longer period, often 2 years or more. The placement may start as a short-term placement and progress to a long-term placement (depending on the child’s care plan). Long term placements usually last until the young person reaches adulthood.

Long-term fostering is required usually due to the child or young person being unable to return to their birth family and adoption is not the right route for them. Long-term fostering is an extremely rewarding role for the fostering family, as you are able to establish long term goals and aspirations with the child or young person which will have a lasting positive impact on their life.

What is the difference between long-term fostering and adoption?

What is the Difference Between Long-Term Fostering and Adoption?

Long-term fostering and adoption can seem very similar but there are a few key differences between them. With adoption, the legal responsibility of the child becomes that of the adoptive parents, with long-term fostering, the legal responsibility remains with the Local Authority.

Long-term fostering can, if appropriate, give the child the opportunity to keep in contact with their birth family, whilst remaining in the safety and stability of a fostering home.

With any fostering placement, a foster carer will receive an allowance. With adoption, there is no payment as the child becomes the sole responsibility of the adoptive parent and not the Local Authority.

How Long Do Long-Term Fostering Placements Last?

Long term Fostering placements vary in length, however these normally range from 2 years onwards and can last several years up until the child or young person has reached adulthood.

In order for a placement to be classed as long-term, these conditions must be met:

  • The foster carer must be approved as a long-term foster carer by the fostering panel and there should be no restrictions against the foster carers approval which would exclude them from a long-term fostering placement.
  • The foster carer has agreed to care for the foster child until they are no longer in need of care (potentially to adulthood).
  • The Local Authority and the birth family of the child have come to an agreement that the child will stay with the foster carer.
How long do long-term fostering placements last?
How does long-term fostering differ to other types of placements?

How Does Long-Term Fostering Differ to Other Types of Placements?

Unlike short-term fostering placements, in which a child may be placed with a foster carer for just a single night or a few weeks, long-term foster placements can last many years.

The term ‘long-term fostering’ does not simply refer to the length of time, but also to the care plan developed for the child or young person, as consideration will be given to the child’s long terms education needs and other life ambitions the child or young person aspires to.

Pay and Allowance for Long-Term Fostering

We pay our foster carers a competitive weekly allowance, which is directly deposited into their bank accounts. The foster carers at Swiis Foster Care are well compensated because they make a huge contribution to the lives of children and young people.

Depending on the placement, the number of children being cared for, and the child’s needs, there are different types of fostering allowances.

Swiis’s Welcome Support Payment

Newly approved foster carers, including those who commence with a long-term placement, benefit from a Welcome Support payment of £1,000 from Swiis. The Welcome Support payment is made to ensure you have everything you need to start your fostering journey with Swiis.

*Terms & Conditions apply

£520/week for one child

£847/week for one enhanced child

£833/week for two siblings

£1,006/week for two unrelated children

£845/week for a parent and child

Please note the above pay and allowances are an indication of the weekly payments made for each placement type. All fees vary as each placement is assessed on an individual basis and can differ by region.

Fostering Allowances are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change, talk to a member of the Swiis team to discuss how the finances could work for you. For current tax-free allowances, please see the Gov.uk website or visit our fostering pay and tax calculator.

To learn more about the financial support Swiis provides, visit our page on allowances and pay.

What are the Benefits of Long-Term Fostering?

A key benefit of a long-term placement is that the child will feel a sense of security and stability. Long term fostering offers a safe and stable environment where children can develop positive relationships with their foster family, at school and within a variety of different social settings.

With a settled, long-term home, foster children will benefit from a regular school routine without having their education disrupted. A stable home and school balance can ensure positive educational outcomes and also the chance for the child or young person to make lasting friendships in the local area which is key to their own social development.

Foster carers also benefit from a longer placement period as they can develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with the child or young person, seeing them through their education and, potentially, into adulthood.

As well as a deeper personal connection, foster carers are also consistently financially supported throughout the placement with their allowance.

How do I Become a Foster Carer?

The first step is to contact Swiis, to discuss your situation and why you would like to foster. You can do this by completing the enquiry form on our website.

Once this is received, a member of our team will contact you to arrange a suitable time to undertake a telephone interview. This is for us to understand more about you and your family, why you are interested in fostering and to explain the basic criteria for becoming a foster carer.

Learn more about Swiis’s application process

Ed & Lisa’s Experience – Fostering with Swiis

“Since becoming foster carers, Swiis have made us and the children we care for feel like we are part of an extended family. They are always supporting us and making sure that we are doing well and if not, go above and beyond our expectations to help.”


Start Your Fostering Journey

With thousands of children coming into foster care in the UK everyday, we urgently need foster carers more than ever.

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Refer a Friend

Do you know anyone who would be a fantastic foster carer who has the skills and compassion to support a child or young person in need of a loving home?

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