At UK Fostering we believe that our foster families should receive the highest level of support possible from our fostering support team. To address this, a supervising social worker is assigned to each foster carer to manage and support the carer in their fostering duties, every step of the way.
Our supervising social workers understand that the foster child’s needs come first, and this means doing all they can to help carers in providing fantastic foster families.
Why foster carer support matters
Our carers are the foundation of our service. We know from current research that a lack of support for care workers has been closely associated with them ceasing to foster. Because of this, we offer our foster carers a robust package of dedicated, professional support as well as financial remuneration for their hard work and dedication. We take pride in providing carers and young people with an excellent level of support from the management and staff at UK Fostering.
Foster Carers Support at UK Fostering
The main areas of support we offer at UK Fostering are detailed below.
Fostering allowance: Foster carers receive a competitive fostering allowance of between £377 – £658 per week
Allocated Supervising Social Worker: Every foster family is provided with a fully qualified supervising social worker through UK Fostering. This is a key part of the foster carer support we provide to our carers. The supervising social worker visits the foster carer regularly, accompanies them to meetings and is in regular phone contact with them. They support, encourage, guide, train and work with foster carers at every stage of the fostering journey.
24/7 Foster Carer Support: All of our carers have 24/7 access to a member of staff for any form of emergency. This can be very important when carers are faced with a difficult situation or indeed any form of emergency that may arise and it’s important that a foster carer knows there are support measures in place for these situations.
Training: Fostering is a challenging task and because of this we provide a comprehensive training programme covering aspects such as behavioural management, health and safety, first aid, attachment theory, communication in a professional environment, fostering regulations and law etc. We also encourage and support our carers to attain the standards set out by the Children’s Workforce Development (CWDC) and NVQ level 3.
Monthly visits: A supervising social worker typically visits the fostering home at least once per month, if not more, in order to provide support and guidance to the foster carer and to address any issues.
Telephone calls: The supervising social worker calls the foster carer at least once every week, in most cases more often, to touch base and discuss anything the foster carer needs to address.
Social meetings: We arrange meetings where carers can meet like-minded people and share their experiences, learn from each other and get to know people who can become part of their support network.
Family outings: We also organise activity-based events for foster carers and their families e.g. a trip to a theme park, or an end of year celebration. These can help build positive relationships and experiences for those concerned.
Foster carer’s support groups for Birth Children: We organise special support meetings for foster carers’ own children, where they can meet peers from other foster families.
Discount scheme: Hundreds of discounts through a membership card with high street shops, theme parks and web-based businesses.
Access to professional advice: We recognise that managing the more practical aspects of the fostering process can be tricky with a busy lifestyle. Because of this each of our foster carers and their families are provided with direct access to:
• An accountant
• A legal advisor
• An educational advisor
These are provided to anyone living within a foster family and can make a big difference in the smooth running of the fostering placement.
This is an older blog and foster carers allowances have since been regularly increased.