Accessibility Options

There are a wide range of fostering opportunities available in Cambridgeshire.

There are a wide range of fostering opportunities available in Cambridgeshire. The type of fostering you are most suited to will depend on factors such as your skills, experience and availability and we will discuss this in more detail during your assessment.

Emergency fostering is when children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights and time-limited fostering is when carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child’s future 

For children and young people who are unable to return to live with their birth family we very carefully choose alternative permanent carers. Our long term foster carers look after children until they reach maturity and independence.

Part-time fostering roles offering placements to children and young people when their usual foster carers need to take a short break from fostering.

The Link Short Breaks Scheme provides short breaks to disabled children living with their families.  Link carers are linked to a disabled child and their family in order to provide overnight care to the child in their own home, giving the family a much needed break from their caring role, as well as new experiences for the disabled child.  Link carers vary in how much care they provide. It can be 1-2 overnights a month up to 208 nights a year.  A carer can look after one child, or have several children placed with them, so the work can be flexible and fit in with existing commitments or can become a full time job

Skills and experience

 The children we support have a wide range of disabilities and health needs.  Children will usually attend a Special School and their needs can include non-verbal communication methods, moving and handling needs, complex health needs including gastrostomy and severe epilepsy, complex sensory needs that sometimes means their behaviour can be challenging to manage, and dependency on others to meet their personal and intimate care needs.

Carers therefore need to have some experience of looking after children with additional needs and to have the skills to work sensitively with families.  Carers will need to enjoy working with vulnerable children and have good energy levels and a sense of fun.  Carers will need to work closely with a range of professionals, to have good communication skills, and be able to maintain written records.

Support for Carers

  • Link carers have a supervising social worker who is part of the Specialist Fostering Team and they provide ongoing support and advice, meeting with Link carers regularly to discuss their caring role and whether any issues or challenges have cropped up.
  • There is a Carer support groups where Link Carers meet up together to share experiences and get advice and support.
  • Link carers are able to access specialist training relevant to the specific needs of the child they’re caring for, as well as having access to the training offer for mainstream foster carers.
  • Specialist equipment is provided as assessed by the child’s occupational therapist and modifications to a Link carer’s house can be carried out if this is assessed as a requirement and a funding application is agreed.

Please see the six steps to fostering if you want to apply to become a Family Link carer.

The Supported Lodgings scheme provides young people aged between 16 and 21 years old with a room in a friendly home and the support and guidance of an adult or adults living there.  

Supported Lodgings carers support young people to gain the independence skills and confidence they need as they transition to adulthood and independent living. This will include help with preparing meals, washing and budgeting as well as emotional support and guidance. Our carers provide less intensive support and lower level of supervision compared to foster carers. This makes it possible for Supported Lodgings carers to continue paid employment alongside their caring role.

Who can become a supported lodgings carer?

We are looking for people who feel they can offer approachable, open-minded support to a young person in order to help prepare them for independence. You need to live within easy access of good public transport links and have a spare room in your home. Carers can be single, married or living with a partner. Carers may have adult children who have moved out of home, children still at home or may not have had any children of their own.

What support do supported lodgings carers receive?

Cambridgeshire County Council provide a comprehensive support package including preparation training, ongoing support. Carers are paid £250 per week while a young person is placed with them.

Parent and baby placements provide a safe and nurturing environment for both the young parent and their child. The carers provide mentoring and practical advice on parenting.

When a child can't carry on living with their parents, we will always try to maintain them within their wider family. Relatives can be assessed as kinship foster carers. If you'd like to be considered as a foster carer for a child who is both related to you and in the Local Authority’s care (or might come into our care) please contact the child's social worker in the first instance.

There is more information in the 'Family, friends care policy on the looking after someone else's child page.

Contact us by calling 0800 052 0078 or by emailing [email protected]

Make an enquiry

Volunteering to support children and young people in care

Would you like to meet with a child or young person once a month to go out for social visits, share hobbies and interests and try new activities. You will befriend, mentor and provide continuity in the life of a child in care and above all, have fun together! For more information please visit our Independent Visitor page.

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