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Emergency foster care

When children’s services need to place a child with approved foster carers at short notice.

This might be because a parent has been taken into hospital and there is no one else available to care for them. It may be because a child protection concern has arisen which means the child cannot safely stay at home.

Regulations allow a child to be placed with foster carers for up to six days in an emergency. This is even if the foster carer’s terms of approval are not consistent with the needs of the child. For example the foster carer may not have yet been approved for a child of a particular age.

An emergency foster placement should only be made if absolutely necessary. If there is no known family member who is able to take the child into their care at short notice, the child may need to be placed in emergency foster care. Some independent fostering agencies specialise in providing foster carers in an emergency.

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