We can help you decide what type of foster care is for you

Every child is different, which is why there are many different types of foster care to meet their individual needs. We will be there to help you find the right type of fostering for you and your family.

Throughout your fostering journey, you will receive ongoing support and plenty of training opportunities to help you become the best foster carer you can be.

Find out more about the different types of support below.

Overnight stays

You’re ready to look after a child for short periods of time, for example weekends and during school holidays, to give other families a breather from heavy demands. Many foster carers start with respite to help build.

Read Beth and Sam's story

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Home from Home

We want to make respite breaks for disabled children more family orientated with opportunities to have a fun break from their everyday lives where they might experience new things. To achieve this, we need more people like you to offer such opportunities to Hampshire children.

You will offer a child with additional needs a loving and caring place to stay, once a month within your own home.

Not only will you give a child the opportunity to have new experiences and meet new people, but you will also build a supportive and close relationship with their family.

This will enable the parents and siblings valuable time to relax and recharge their batteries. The children requiring this service are aged between 0-18 years. They could have a range of needs from Autistic Spectrum Disorder and learning difficulties, to a physical or sensory impairment. We also receive referrals for children who have complex health needs, life-limiting illnesses and may require personal care.

Our carers come from all walks of life. We welcome people from differing backgrounds and lifestyles. You do not need any formal qualification or experience to be a Home from Home carer for children with additional needs.

You will be allocated a Home from Home coordinator who will provide ongoing supervision, support and advice. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to learn and develop new skills with access to bespoke, specialist training to help you become the best carer you can be.


I have been a home from home carer for several years and think it is a very worthwhile service as it gives the family time to spend with siblings or just recharge their batteries.

Also the family has some choice of dates which I am always happy to try and do whatever they want – the flexibility provided is great.


Do I need any specific qualifications?

You do not need any formal qualification or experience to be a Home from Home carer for children with additional needs.

What will I be paid?

A non-taxable allowance is paid based on the duration of the child’s stay.

Do I need a downstairs bathroom?

This is not essential but may be a necessity for some children. We do our best to match our children with carers who can meet their needs.

What is the matching process?

We work with you to find the best match. Your assessing social worker will help you identify your current skills and knowledge. They can also give guidance on training courses to help you develop. As part of your assessment, we will also look at your home environment.

What activities can I do with a child?

There are a number of activities from spending quality time in the home, whether that be baking a cake or crafting, to playing a board game or visiting your local park. There are a variety of family attractions across Hampshire which offer free or discounted entry for our children and their carers.

Will I need to undergo background assessment?

Yes, we will undertake a wide range of references and checks, including a DBS. This is to help us safeguard the children in our care.

Will I need to undergo a medical check?

Yes, but an existing medical condition will not necessarily exempt you from becoming a Home from Home carer.

For more information, please download the Home from Home information leaflet

Short term fostering

You will be flexible with foster care for a short period of time. You could provide care for just a few days or up to two years while plans are made, which can include the child returning to their family. Sometimes it can lead to long-term care if it’s right for you and the child. The child or young person may require short-term care due to family home concerns or illness of their birth parents.

Read Claire's story

Long term fostering

You’re prepared for foster care for a much longer period of time, when there is no short-term plan for the child to return to their family and they live with you until they’re at least 18 years old. Staying Put is a scheme that provides support for the young person once they turn 18 until they are 25 years of age.

Read Barbara and Tom's story

Parent and child

You’re ready to welcome a young parent and their family to stay with you at a time when they need extra support. They might be having difficulties looking after their new baby or need some extra help and guidance with their children. They may also need a safe place.

Emergency and out of hours

You’re prepared to provide a home for a night or a few days for a child or young person during times of crisis or emergency in a family; it may be at short notice and at any time. We urgently need more emergency and out of hour foster carers to support and care for a child during what is a very stressful and confusing time for them.

Read Sharon's story

Download our information pack

Discover everything you need to know about how to foster with Hampshire County Council Fostering Service with our comprehensive information pack.

I would like an information pack

fostering information brochure