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Support for foster carers

Fostering can be a demanding role and we don't expect you to cope on your own.

We'll support you, not just financially and practically, but also by visiting you regularly, providing advice and guidance by telephone and in person, and generally keeping involved.

Fostering supervising social worker

Once you are approved as a foster carer, you will be assigned a social worker called a 'Fostering Supervising Social Worker'. They'll support you through each fostering placement and will visit you regularly to offer support and advice. Each child also has their own social worker who can offer advice and support.  If a difficult situation arises outside of office hours you can call the emergency duty team, who are also there to help you.

Professional support and services

You'll have access to a wide range of other professionals:

  • Looked After Nurses with specialist knowledge of the health needs of foster children.
  • The Virtual School - who support looked after children in their education setting.
  • The Full Circle therapeutic team - this includes a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and specialist therapeutic workers who can support children and their foster carer.
  • Community Support - who can undertake specific identified work to support the stability of foster placements.
  • Fostering Wrap Around Service - support workers specifically available for looked after children in foster placements when there are crises.
  • Emergency Duty Team - who can provide and support outside of office hours.
  • Access to the services of One Point.

 Your social worker can help you find the right support for your family. 


Before you are approved as a carer you will complete our 'Prepare to Foster' course, to help develop your understanding of fostering and what's involved in caring for a child. 

Once you begin caring for children you will be expected to attend further training to help you develop your skills. Our comprehensive training programme offers a wide selection of training which is regularly refreshed and developed to meet identified needs. 

We'll help you with the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSD) portfolio for foster carers which you will need to complete within your first 12 months of fostering. 

Financial support

You will receive financial support to cover the everyday expenditure that caring for children and young people involves. You may also receive a fee payment which recognises your skills, experience and knowledge. Find out more about Financial support for foster carers.

Foster carer consultation events

Our foster carers are at the centre of what we do. In order to inform and listen to you we hold quarterly foster carer consultation events, which all carers are invited to attend.

Foster carer support groups

Local support groups are a great opportunity for you to meet other carers and keep up to date with fostering information. We offer a number of groups across County Durham. 

Support for your own children

The M8's group is a special group set up to support your own children. The group is a great way for your children to meet other foster families and have some fun! 

Support for your foster children

Find out more on our Support for fostered children page.

National organisations

You can also get support from national organisations such as:

The Fostering Network

A national organisation that acts as an independent voice for carers, and represents their interests both locally and nationally. It also gives carers access to an advice and mediation worker who will provide an independent service.


Fosterline is free, confidential, impartial and supportive for you as a foster carer, or if you are thinking of becoming a foster carer.

New Family Social

A support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) foster carers.

Additional information

Please see our Resources to support foster carers page for more information. Or, contact us if you are unable to find the information you're looking for.

Contact us
03000 269 400
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Spectrum 8
  • Spectrum Business Park
  • Seaham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR7 7TT
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