Want to join us - our offer to you
Life as a Foster Carer is hugely rewarding, and no two days are the same. There has never been a better time for you to consider fostering as a career. If you want to make a real difference to children’s and young people lives, then we want to hear from you. Our website offers you a great deal of information about how to become a Foster Carer and all the amazing support that you will receive. We are here to support you every step of the way, from achieving your dream of becoming a Foster Carer and supporting you to providing the best care for our most vulnerable children and young people.
After submitting your enquiry form, our dedicated recruitment team will call you within the next working day to answer any questions you may have about becoming a Foster Carer for us. We will come and visit you to talk you through the assessment process and the training that we will ask you to complete. We aim to complete this stage of your journey within four months and will make sure that you have all the skills and support you need to feel confident and able to welcome a child or young person into your home.
Once you are approved as a Foster Carer, you are then part of our fostering community and will be linked with your own dedicated and highly skilled Supervising Social Worker. Your Social Worker will make sure you have everything you need to flourish as a Foster Carer and will be a consistent support to you and your family.
Our pledge to you in your first year of fostering is to provide you with the right support, at the right time, from the right professionals. Unlike fostering agencies, working within a Local Authority means that our Social Workers have long-standing relationships with key professionals involved with a child or young person in your care, meaning that we are best placed to support and advise you.
Our new Next Steps programme will provide you with all the support you need in your first year of fostering.
The Next Steps programme includes:
- An individualised training programme tailored to your needs and protected time with your Social Worker to reflect on your learning.
- We will link you with a skilled Foster Carer who will be your Mentor. They are on hand to provide you with advice and guidance when you need it, from the perspective of a friend and colleague.
- We will introduce you to a local support group where you can share your experiences and learning or just take the time to have a cup of tea or a chat with other Foster Carers.
- Despite all the preparation during your assessment we know that welcoming a child into your home will be a new experience for you and your family. We will make sure that you can contact a Social Worker for advice, day, or night, whatever the day of the week.
- We know that caring for a child who has experienced trauma will require patience, understanding, compassion, and above all a listening ear. We want you to provide excellent care to our children so that they feel safe and loved and we provide the training that will enhance your therapeutic parenting skills such as PACE, Circle of Security and Foundations to Attachment.
During your first year of fostering, we will work alongside you to complete your Training, Support and Development Standards.
Our training offer includes both virtual and face-to-face learning, as we know a day in the life of a Foster Carer can be very busy!
We are committed to your continual professional development as a Foster Carer. Your Social Worker will make sure you have all the support you need.
As you develop your skills and experience, you may want to become a Foster Carer Ambassador or Mentor for us – but we can tell you more about this during the assessment stage.
We also building our offer of membership to the National Association of Therapeutic Parents. Membership will provide you with additional support, education and resources all aimed at helping you provide an excellent standard of care to our children and young people.
As soon as you are approved and have become part of our fostering community, you will have the opportunity to join our Foster Care Association/Partnership, which promotes the voice of Foster Carers. We want Foster Carers to work with alongside us in everything that we do, from recruitment activity to training delivery, as we believe that our Foster Carers’ first-hand experience and expertise will give you the best understanding of what being a Foster Carer is all about.
As a Foster Carer, you will receive weekly payments for the care you provide based on your skills and experience:
- If you looked after two children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, you could earn between £17,680 and £42,640 (subject to your experience and training)?
- If you looked after two teenagers aged 16 and over, you could earn between £26,000 to £44,720 subject to experience and skill level.
- If you looked after a sibling group of three children all between the ages of 5 and 10 years old you could earn between £32,760 and £67,080 subject to experience and training.
- If you looked after a baby or a child up to the age of 4 you would earn between £7,700 and £19,240 subject to experience and training.
- You could earn up to £31,811 caring for a child with disabilities for 208 nights a year as a Link Carer.
Furthermore, you will also receive additional payments to help you meet the cost of caring for a child or young person. These include:
- Generous mileage allowances for taking a child to school or to see their family
- Grants to pay for furniture and the equipment that you need to look after a child
- An additional payment to support you to take a child on holiday or to enrol them in clubs or activities during the summer holidays
- A birthdays and additional festival payment so that you can buy that special gift or arrange a celebration event
- A grant towards clothing, and school uniform
We value the contribution our incredible fostering community makes each and every day. To show our support, we host regular events where the fostering community comes together to celebrate personal achievements – which will also give you the opportunity to meet others from across the service.
Depending on where you live, we can offer you a discounted gym membership which applies to you, the child you look after, and you own family.
We also offer our Cambridgeshire Foster Carer a Max card, which gives you discounts at venues across the UK. The scheme is designed to help families save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling alleys, trampoline parks and many other attractions.
There is also free access to Foster Talk and the Foster Network which both offer free, impartial, and confidential support for you as either a Foster Carer or prospective Foster Carer. This will vary depending on which Local Authority you foster for
Six steps to becoming a foster carer
Please see the video and the steps explained below it.
If you are interested in fostering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team will answer any questions that you may have and will keep you up to date throughout the process.
The session will give you the information that you need to help you make the decision to further enquire or to make an application to Foster. It will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you have to help you in your decision making. We really hope you can join us on one of the sessions to start your journey into Fostering. We would love to see you at one of our information sessions.
When you are ready, we’ll arrange a time convenient to you when we can come and visit you and your family at home. This is a great opportunity to find out more about which type of fostering will be best for you and to ask any questions you might have.
At the home visit, we will discuss if now is the right time for you to go ahead. If so, we will invite you to apply to be a foster carer.
While your assessment to become a Foster Carer is in progress, you will attend our Skill to Foster training programme, which takes place over four days. During the course, you will have the opportunity to meet with other applicants, care experienced young people, and our most skilled Foster Carers.
This is a safe and supportive environment which will allow you to explore what being a Foster Carer is like. Your assessing Social Worker will help you access other training such as E-learning and your training, support, and development standards, which you will complete in your first year of fostering.
An assessment is completed for all potential new foster carers. This includes us undertaking a number of background checks and gathering references. It is a very thorough and in-depth process, but your allocated fostering social worker will visit you regularly and support you through your application.
For carers transferring in from other agencies, we have a fast track process for this stage.
- Your application will be presented to our local fostering panel
- You will be asked to attend, along with your Social Worker, to answer any questions the panel may have
- A decision will then be made by the panel regarding your suitability to foster, and the age group and number of children you are approved to care for
Once this decision has been verified by our Agency Decision Maker, you will join our team of Foster Carers and start to change lives for our children and young people.
The training we attended was really comprehensive and helps you to manage lots of situations that may arise, we also got a chance to talk it through with others in the group. Cambridgeshire Foster Carer.
Enquiry form and contact details
Fostering enquiry form
In order to express your interest in fostering with us, we ask that you:
- be at least 21 years-old
- have a spare bedroom
- be a full-time resident in the UK
To find out more and register an interest, please use the online form above. You can also call us on 0800 052 0078 or email email@example.com.
Watch how local Foster Carers inspired Eleanor to reach her goals of going to university!
My past experience has made me determined to help children who have not had the best start in life.
We have fostered several children over the years on a long- and short-term basis.
For me, it’s about making sure children feel safe and secure, and teaching them that what they have been through does not define how they are as a person and helping them move on. Our house is loud – but it’s a good loud!
Mealtimes are important to me. We all come together, eat, and talk about everything – I get to know more about what is going on in their lives.
We are lucky because there is always someone around or at the end of the phone to help provide support and guidance when you need it most.
For me, it’s about seeing a child or young person develop into a fully rounded individual, with a career or a family. This is when I know I have done my best.