North East Lincolnshire Council

Interested in becoming a foster carer

Welcome to your local fostering information page. We’re so pleased you want to find out more about fostering.

It’s a really rewarding role. You will have a tremendous impact on the lives of local children, the wider community and it will change your life too.

There’s lots to consider and we’re here to help so please find out more on this page or by getting in touch with the team.
Call 01472 325545 or click the link to enquire online below.

If you choose to go ahead and apply we will proceed with your application over the phone or online during COVID.

Ask us about fostering

If you want to find out more about fostering or would like to put yourself forward to become a foster carer then complete an enquiry about fostering.

Find out more from our foster carers

Our fabulous carers tell you more about fostering in these videos:

We are looking for more foster carers to care for children of all ages. Currently we have a pressing need for more long term foster carers.
In becoming a foster carer for the local authority, you can be sure of a warm welcome and of knowing that you are helping your own community by making a real difference to the lives of local young people.

Fostering today is more like a career as it demands a great deal of effort and commitment. Our foster carers must be available to meet the needs of the children placed with them, which can be a tough challenge as many children have complex histories and may be hurt, sad and angry. Foster carers also need to attend training to equip them with the skills they need as well as attend meetings, appointments, reviews and respond to emergencies if they arise.

Foster carers must be 21 or older and in most cases have separate bedroom space for each foster child. There is no upper age limit to foster. We have lots of retired people who are fabulous foster carers.

 

Our foster carers come from all different backgrounds. Find out more about what it takes to be a foster carer:

The personal strength and necessary sense of humour to carry out the foster carer role.

An awareness of and ability to promote the rights of every foster child to be nurtured in a loving and caring way, which encompasses the value of responsible parenting;

A strong commitment to working as part of a team and recognising the differences of foster caring from parenting your own children;

Some experience with children. This can be gained in a number of ways you do not have to have had your own children.

Open and accepting attitudes to issues of cultural and religious difference, as well as other matters of difference, such as disability, ethnicity, lesbian and gay relationships, and families who are unable to care for their children effectively.

A personal sense of security, which allows for the tolerance and understanding of children and young people in public care, some of whom may have suffered much personal trauma and may show their distress through challenging behaviour.

An ability to take a positive ‘long view’ for each child to create as many good memories as possible for children to hold on to for life and to continue believing in each child regardless of setbacks.

Mainstream Care (Short-term care)
Most newly approved foster carers will begin their career as a mainstream foster carer. This means they will look after children who tend to be at the younger end of age spectrum and whose needs don’t require a higher level of skill. This is short term care which is up to two years.

 

 

Long Term Care
This type of care is usually provided by carers who have gained experience through mainstream care. They will look after a child throughout their time in foster care until age 18. A rigorous matching process takes place, which assesses children’s needs and identifies carers’ abilities to meet those needs. Quite often people who start out as mainstream or Contract carers go on to become long term carers because they’ve established the positive relationship with the child. Currently we have a pressing need for more long term carers.

 

 

Short Stay (formerly Respite Care)
A Short Stay foster carer looks after a foster child while their regular foster carer takes their annual leave. Usually a child will stay with you between one night and two or three weeks.

As a short stay foster carer you do all the same training and have access to the same network of professional support and financial compensation as any other foster carer but this is a more flexible part-time role.

 

 

Contract Care
Contract carers look after children whose needs require a higher level of skill, experience and understanding. Carers are paid a Fostering Allowance and a professional fee for each child in their care. (Older – At least school age)

 

 

Contract Plus Care
This scheme as in contract care is designed to meet the needs of children who require skilled carers but who also need a placement where they can be either the only child or for accommodating larger sibling groups.

Carers are paid a Fostering Allowance and a household professional fee.

 

 

Specific Placement Care
Specific Placement care is designed to cater for those children who require a high level of individually tailored parenting. Carers are usually highly experienced foster carers who have often undertaken additional training specific to the child’s needs.

 

 

Short Break Care
Short break carers look after children with disabilities for short periods on a regular basis while their parents take some time off. These children are not usually foster children. This is a service we offer to parents of children with disabilities.

As a short break foster carer you do all the same training and have access to the same network of professional support and financial compensation as any other foster carer but this is a more flexible part-time role. In addition specialist training is available to help carers understand the needs of any child they may look after, as well as having a Short Break Linkworker who will work closely with each carer to ensure that good matches are made and that placements are successful.

Ideally, you will have some experience with children with physical and learning disabilities. In your role you will encourage young people to develop new skills and interests. Regular stays with a pattern of visits which is predictable works best. Carers also work in harmony with the child’s birth family so they feel valued and supported.

Want to know what our foster carers have to say? Considering putting yourself in the picture?

Click on the names below to hear what our foster carers have to say:

Jane and Sally (PDF)

John and Julie (PDF)

Bethany and Teresa (PDF)

Julie (PDF)

Samantha (PDF)

You can also watch the videos below to hear about our foster carers experiences in North East Lincolnshire:

Colette (Video)

Angie (Video)

Karen (Video)

 

Click on the names below to hear what our young people say about fostering in North East Lincolnshire:

Jaz’s story in care (PDF)

Training
We offer you a brilliant package of training by dedicated and experienced training staff before you qualify as a foster carer. This progresses throughout your time as a carer to give you more knowledge, skill and insight into looking after children and understanding children in care.

 

 

Link Worker
As a foster carer you will have your own dedicated Link Worker whose job it is to support you every step of the way. All our link workers are highly experienced Social Workers.

You both have the backing of a multi-agency team including the youth mental health team Young Minds Matter, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) who regularly work directly with carers, and you will work with professionals on the most up to date training in childcare like Therapeutic Parenting.

 

 

Time off
Just like taking leave at work for a holiday you can choose to take up to two weeks paid holiday each year while your child goes to a qualified Short Stay foster carer.

 

 

Foster Carers Association
You can chose to participate in this thriving group run by foster carers for foster carers with lots of advice and peer support and casual social events.
Through this group you are also able to meet the managers of Children’s Services. As a valued member of the network of professionals you can stay informed about Children’s Services, we get a chance to listen to what you think could be improved and you can stay abreast of developments in the service as a valued member of professionals.

 

 

24/7. Out of Hours Support
At weekends and evenings we have a dedicated support line for you contact if you have an urgent query that cannot wait until regular working hours.

 

 

As part of our commitment to you we will:

Uphold the importance of the child’s relationship with their foster carer, and treat foster carers respectfully, fairly and as a core member of the team around the child.

Listen to and involve foster carers in decision-making and drawing up and reviewing the care plan/ placement plan and provide foster carers with full information about the child.

Support foster carers to make reasonable and appropriate decisions on behalf of the child living in their family and work with parents to help them understand why other people may need to take decisions about their child in order to enable them to have a normal childhood.

Provide their foster carers with the support services and development opportunities they need in order to provide the best care for children.

Make sure foster carers understand any support, fees, allowances and holiday they will receive, including in cases of dispute with the service or gaps in placements, and that foster carers understand the service’s processes and procedures.

Child care social workers
Every child has an assigned qualified children’s social worker involved in working directly with the child, the child’s family and the foster carers to achieve the best possible outcome for the child. The child’s social worker is responsible for developing the child’s care plan and for ensuring good decisions are made, not just on behalf of the child, but with the child.


Specialist clinical psychologists
Foster carers have swift access to qualified clinical psychologists who are experienced in assessing and supporting young people with emotional needs and who are looked after by the Council. They work directly with carers, and are able to offer analysis and response strategies as well as group training. This is of outstanding benefit to both carers and young people.

 

Looked after children’s health team
Every looked after child and young person has their health needs assessed and catered for through the work of the health team. This includes an experienced consultant paediatric doctor and specialist nurses. They work alongside each other and offer a highly personalised service to each child.

 


Looked After Children’s Education
Team (LACE)
Looked after children’s education team (LACE) All ‘Looked After’ children of school age should have a Personal Education Plan designed to ensure that their education does not suffer because of traumatic experiences and separation from their families. The LACE team offers additional teaching and educational assistance and support to children who are struggling with school attendance or achievement. They work closely with foster carers in planning their approach. The progress of all looked after children is tracked and monitored.

The needs of your foster child or children are accounted for by a fostering allowance. You may receive more if your child has additional needs.

This covers all essentials like their food and clothes and the additional running costs of the home.

Additionally, if you need equipment or furniture to care for a child we will provide you with this. For example, a bed or a car seat.

You will not be financially worse off because of the cost of caring for another child in your home.

Gov.uk has more information on help with the cost of fostering.
www.gov.uk/foster-carers/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering

Money from fostering does not affect benefits. Click here to learn more.
www.gov.uk/foster-carers/claiming-benefits-while-fostering

Gov.uk has more info on tax exemption and tax relief.
www.gov.uk/foster-carers/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering.


Pensions
If you foster, you’ll be eligible for National Insurance credits, which counts towards your State Pension.

Gov.uk has more info on fostering and pension.
www.gov.uk/foster-carers/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering.

Family and friends carers are relatives, friends and other people with a prior relationship with somebody else’s child, who are caring for him or her full time. One of the common concerns expressed by family and friends carers is that they are not given clear information about the different legal options, the types of support available to them, details of any financial support available and the kind of social work involvement that will be necessary.

A copy of North East Lincolnshire Council’s detailed guidance for practitioners about family and friends care is available on request.

There may be times when it will be necessary to seek your own legal advice about the best option for you and the child’s situation.

For more information view the leaflet on family and friends care  (PDF).

Support for Family and Friends Carers

North East Lincolnshire Fostering Service recognise that becoming a temporarily approved foster carer for a relative’s child can be a daunting and at times isolating situation to be in. We have support workers to help family and friends with advice, practical support and opportunities for training to assist in developing an understanding of your child’s/ children’s situation and their behaviours.

We run regular training sessions specifically for family and friends carers on attachment, safeguarding and what is required in the role of a foster carer. We hold a bi monthly support and development sessions specifically for family and friends carers. This group meets for two hours and is an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation to yourselves as well as having short training/ information sessions on subjects such as paediatric first aid, life story work, managing contact and so on.

A full range of Fostering training and eLearning packages are available to all family carers alongside Local Authority foster carers.

For more information ask your link worker or contact the Fostering Service.

For more information read A Practical Guide to Family and Friends Care (PDF).

Fostering and Adoption, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, DN35 8LN

Email: fosteringandadoption@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: 01472 325545

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm, Friday 9am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays