We believe in each and every one of our foster carers.
With over 100 years’ experience, we are committed to helping you make a huge difference in a child's life, and are here to support you every step of the way.
We're also the UK’s largest independent not-for-profit fostering agency. That means we have the resources and expertise to support you whenever you need our help.
A dedicated 24 hour helpline
As well as having direct contact with a dedicated and qualified social worker, you'll have 24 hour access to our caring team of social workers and the confidence of knowing that you can talk to them confidentially.
Certified and free training and development
Foster carers are reviewed each year to ensure looked-after children are always receiving the support they need. You can benefit from extensive training, both face-to-face and online, helping you to gain new skills and enhance existing ones and we'll be with you every step of the way.
To find out more about the training we offer, visit our Fostering Journey page
Generous financial support
All carers receive a financial allowance to help with the cost of looking after their foster child. The allowance makes provision for necessities including food, clothing, travel, and household expenses.
As a foster carer, you will also get a taxable income as recognition of your dedication. Foster carers do not get a Barnardo’s pension, we advise foster carers to arrange a private pension plan.
Planned short ‘respite’ breaks
Finding quality time can be difficult when taking care of a child. If you or the young person in your care need a few hours, days or weeks to recharge your energy – we’ll provide other carers to look after your foster child.
Fostering support groups
By attending our support groups, you will get the opportunity to meet with other foster carers and social workers to discuss your fostering experiences. The support groups are attended by new and established foster carers, allowing each person to benefit from others' support and expertise.
Organisational membership of The Fostering Network
The Fostering Network represents foster carers in the UK – influencing and shaping policies related to fostering. Membership will give you access to an informative website, regular newsletters and discounted training.
Organisational membership of Fairer Fostering
Tailored support for LGBT+ parents
Barnardo’s is a member of New Family Social Network, the UK’s peer support network for adopters and foster carers who are LGBT+.
When you adopt through Barnardo’s, you become a member of the NFS network meaning you’ll have access to dedicated online forums and a wealth of events held across the country – some for all the family and some are for the parents only.
Types of foster care
There are many different kinds of foster care, specific to each child's situation. Find out more about the many ways you can provide care for a child who needs your help.
We understand the decision to foster is a huge step and we'll provide you with support every step of the way. Find out more about the journey to fostering.
The first step towards joining the Barnardo's family is getting in touch. Complete our online form or find details about alternative contact methods here.