Choosing to be a foster carer

Different types of foster care

There are many different types of foster care, some of which may suit your skills and availability better than others.

Possibilities include:

  • short and medium term care
  • longer term care
  • caring for children with disabilities, either longer term or as part of a shared care arrangement with their parents
  • parent and child placements
  • brothers and sisters
  • teenagers

We will help you to find out what you can offer our children, and will discuss the choices with you as part of the assessment process.

The levels of fostering listed below are supported by different rates of payment.

Care Skills

To be paid the Care Skills fee, you should have done – or be doing – the following.

For the first 12 months you should have:

  • completed 'The Skills to Foster' training
  • been fully approved
  • attended supervision
  • submitted your carer logs

For each year after the first 12 months you should have:

  • completed training support development (TSD) standards
  • completed mandatory training
  • completed 3 training sessions in each 12 month period from April to March
  • attended supervision
  • submitted carer logs
  • taken part in the annual review process

Care Skills+

To be paid the Care Skills+ rate, you will need to:

  • meet all the requirements of Care Skills, above
  • regularly provide emergency placements, which includes urgent placements of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
  • show, through your portfolio and annual review, that you have the ability to meet and manage more complex needs

Complex needs include:

  • significantly challenging and risk taking behaviours
  • complex educational needs and need for tailored education programmes
  • significant attachment issues or substance misuse
  • offending behaviour or sexualised behaviour
  • current child criminal exploitation, gangs and experiences of being trafficked
  • diagnosed mental health difficulties

High Need Rate

This rate is paid in exceptional circumstances to support our carers who look after the highest need children and young people.

It is paid for a fixed period of time depending on the child or young person's needs – for example, a child or young person who:

  • receives support from their local Children with Disabilities service due to their own disability, rather than a sibling's disability
  • cannot access education, or their education provision is less than half of full-time
  • is placed from residential care or secure care, and is settling in to placement (paid for up to 6 months)
  • requires a remand bed
  • has multiple or profound difficulties with complex medical needs and a high number of medical appointments
  • presents a sexual risk to other children and therefore needs constant supervision

Parent and child fostering

Parent and child fostering is when you have a young parent and their child living in your home. Social workers may choose this type of placement if they're not sure whether the parent can care for their child effectively. It can be easier to assess their parenting when they are living within a foster family.

Parent and child fostering usually suits people who:

  • have experience fostering
  • have childcare skills
  • are able to communicate and work well with young people
  • want to support a young parent and show them how best to care for their child

Contact us

Please let us know if you're interested in fostering – we'll be happy to explain more.

Fostering team

: 0800 652 1256 (freephone)


I'm interested in fostering