Support for our foster carers, their families and the children in their care.
We know that fostering can be challenging at times. We're always here to support you throughout your fostering experience. As one of our foster carers, you'll have your own allocated social worker and you'll benefit from regular telephone calls and home visits.
We run local support groups where you can meet other carers and discuss your experiences as well as get useful tips and advice on the day-to-day practicalities of fostering.
We also encourage foster carers to help each other through our Buddy Scheme.
Our support includes:
- your own social worker who will work closely with you, answer questions, and help you when you need them
- matching you with your own experienced foster carer 'buddy' if you're a new carer
- an experienced, knowledgeable team, all working together and available to help you around the clock, 365 days a year
- training and development opportunities while you're applying to foster with us, and throughout your fostering career
- free membership of FosterTalk Go to https://fostertalk.org/ (opens new window), a national foster carer support organisation
- access to Thinking Allowed Go to https://cchp.nhs.uk/cchp/explore-cchp/thinking-allowed (opens new window) services, who support you and the foster children in your care, by assessing the children's needs and mental health, and offering therapy sessions
- our Virtual School, The HOPE, who make sure that children in care have all the support they need to get the most out of their education
- a dedicated therapeutic support team, who can meet with you if you're struggling with a placement, and help you find ways to make things work for you and the placement
- social events for you and the children you care for
- equipment needed to start your fostering role, such as furniture, bedding, car seat and prams
Foster carers are entitled to 30 hours free childcare a week from September 2018. For more information visit free childcare for 2 to 4 year olds.
Support from local groups and organisations
As a foster carer for us, you'll have access to:
- local fostering training venues, offering a wide variety of specialised training, so you don't have to travel long distances
- support from the Bristol Foster Carers Association (BFCA)
"...another good source of support for me is the support groups.
It is an informal and relaxed setting [and] an opportunity to meet with other carers both new to fostering and those who are veterans and have decades of experience. We share stories and have a laugh."
Stephen, male single carer of 4 years