What support can I expect?
We’ll support you. Financially. Emotionally. Professionally.
You will receive preparation and guidance for the task of becoming a carer, as well as ongoing training, practical and financial support. We really value the amazing work our carers do within our community, so we provide the following support:
- Excellent supervision and local support
- Generous mileage allowance
- Out of hours support
- A programme of regular training events as well as financial incentives for completing training, helping you progress your career as a foster carer
- Regular support groups, social events and newsletters to keep you informed
- Organised peer-to-peer support through the Slough Fostering Association (drop-in coffee mornings; social activities, fundraising events)
- An opportunity for you to be a part of new innovations to support and receive help when needed via a dedicated carer-led respite service
- An annual awards event for our foster families to recognise their contribution to Slough’s children and young people
- Fees paid for annual subscription to the Fostering Network which includes, among other things, subscription to Foster Care magazine, regular e-newsletters, access to online resources, 24-hour dedicated helplines and a multitude of discounts on various activities and days out as well as special members’ prices for training, publications and events
- Holiday and birthday additional payments for all children in your care
- Additional therapeutic support for children requiring extra help.
Foster carers are required to complete a structured programme of training within the first year of their approval. One-to-one support from their supervising social worker/link worker is provided to help carers complete this. Carers must attend relevant training events and collect evidence into a portfolio of the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
Once this programme is completed, foster carers are then supported to undertake ongoing training that is relevant to their needs and to the children they are caring for. There is also the opportunity to undertake a nationally recognised qualification in childcare, if carers wish to pursue this.
Short term and long term foster carers receive a weekly payment fee for each child in placement, plus a weekly maintenance allowance for each child. This allowance is to cover the costs of caring for a particular child or young person. There is an expectation that you will budget and manage your allowance as you do for your own family. The fees and allowances that you receive will vary according to the age group and number of children you care for:
- competitive fostering fee and allowances up to £442 per week for Tier 1 foster carers and £642 for Tier 2 foster carers, depending on the age of the child
- a retainer is payable to eligible foster carers
- holiday allowance – two weeks holiday payment per annum, when no child in placement
- birthday allowance and festival allowance paid per annum per child.
The maintenance payment will include all the costs for caring for a child e.g. food, clothing, toiletries, personal needs (pocket money, fostered children’s holidays, birthday and celebratory presents), household living expenses e.g. gas, electricity, water, telephone, equipment and wear and tear of household decoration and equipment.
Mockingbird Family Model
Mockingbird is an innovative method of delivering foster care which uses an extended family model to improve the stability of placements and strengthen the relationship between carers, children and young people, fostering services and birth families. The idea is that if foster and other families have a supportive community around them, they are better able to meet the needs of the children and youth in their care. You can read more about Mockingbird here.