Training and support for foster carers

We care about foster carers and will give you continuing support in many different ways:

  • you will have your own supervising social worker who will visit you regularly and who you can contact during office hours
  • you can access other support workers who can offer a range of support and link you with other professionals
  • we run a mentoring scheme that pairs new foster carers up with more experienced foster carers
  • we can put you in touch with others who live nearby, or who are offering a similar type of fostering to you
  • you will have a foster carer ID card which will get you discounts at various leisure and retail outlets
  • we have a 24 hour Support Line so you can reach someone 24 hours a day if you need to
  • you can take a break between placements when you and your family need one


You will receive training both before and after approval as a foster carer.

Pre-approval training (3 days)

  • you will undertake this training either just before or after you are allocated an assessing social worker. It forms part of the assessment process. If you are in a relationship, both of you will need to be able to attend all 3 days
  • if you are interested only in Short Breaks Scheme day care there is a 1 day condensed course

The training will give you a better understanding of the children you will be looking after, some of what they may have been through, what’s expected of you as a foster carer and how to meet the needs of children we'll be asking you to look after.

Induction training

Once approved as a foster carer you will be expected to complete a number of courses within your first year. You will also complete a portfolio to evidence that you have met the standards for foster care. Your supervising social worker will help you to complete this.

Further training opportunities

During your fostering career we, together with Health Services and other organisations, will provide training courses to help support you in your role. You will have a professional development plan. Individual specialist training will be given if needed, for example, training on epilepsy. 

Foster carer reference group

The group discusses what improvements need to be made to services for looked after children. It is made up of foster carers who meet with our senior managers 4 times a year. The group members are nominated and elected by other foster carers every 2 years.

Members of the group will take up issues on behalf of other carers at meetings with managers and then feedback to carers by direct contact, through support groups and the fostering newsletter. Group members offer different types of care and have different experiences of fostering. Each member is representative of a group of carers.

You can speak to any group member you wish to about issues you would like raised at the meetings with managers.