Support for foster carers

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.

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.

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

Barnardo's is also proud to be a member of Fairer Fostering; a consortium of voluntary and non-profit fostering agencies across the UK, whose members look after over 2,000 children in care.

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