Support for foster carers

We appreciate 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.

Dedicated 24 hour helpline

We know how important it is to have support and guidance from fostering experts. Once you’ve been approved as an official Barnardo’s foster carer, you’ll have access to our caring team of social workers 24 hours a day – all completely confidential. You will also have direct contact with a dedicated social worker in your local area.

Comprehensive training and development

Foster carers are reviewed yearly to ensure adequate care is given to looked-after children. You can benefit from extensive training, helping you to gain new skills and enhance existing abilities - we’re with you every step of the way. Contact your local service team for more information about training courses.

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.

Short ‘respite’ breaks

Finding quality time can be difficult when taking care of a child. If you 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 the highs of fostering and issues that you may have. The support groups are attended by new and experienced foster carers, each person can share their experience and knowledge – offering valuable support to each other.

Organisational membership of Fostering through Social Enterprise (FtSE)

Barnardo's is proud to be a member of Fostering through Social Enterprise (FtSE), a consortium of voluntary and non-profit fostering agencies, across the UK, whose members look after over 2,000 children in care.

FtSE represents the views, perspectives and experience of its member agencies. FtSE lobbies as an advocate for children in respect of regulation, as well as representing its membership at central government level.

Organisational membership of the Fostering Network

The Fostering Network represents foster carers in the UK – influencing and shape policies relating to fostering.

By choosing to become a foster carer you can make a huge difference in a child's life - and yours.