Benefits and support
We know just how important foster carers are. If you foster with us, we offer help with the cost of fostering and support to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here’s just some of the support you can expect to receive from us:
- Our preparation course during the assessment process
- Ongoing training opportunities to develop your skills
We provide specialist training like; promoting positive behaviour and relationships, child development, attachment and promoting resilience, baby and beyond, contact (with family and friends) and the role of the foster carer, and men in fostering so you can develop your skills as a foster carer.
We offer training online and face to face at different times and locations, so you can learn at a time convenient to you.
- We pay a weekly allowance to help with the cost of caring for a child
- Our payment system rewards carers who complete extra training and show their ability to meet children’s needs to a higher standard
- Additional payment for birthdays and religious festivals
- An annual holiday allowance for each child
We're happy to answer any questions you have about money, employment or our payment system and allowances. Give us a call on 0300 123 6723 or complete our enquiry form to find out more.
As a foster carer you may be entitled to claim tax credits and benefits. You can find out more on The Fostering Network's website (external link).
- 24/7 support
- Contact with your supervising social worker at least once a month
- Support workers based locally - so help is never far away
- Out of hours helpline
- Your own mentor for the first 12 months
You'll get specialist advice on things like education or mental health when you need it. You may also be paired up with a buddy, an experienced local foster carer who you can phone for more informal support.
"When you have never had a placement before, or are expecting your first placement, it can be quite daunting, but exciting. I'm lucky to have a fantastic buddy." - Lorraine, new foster carer.
Our social workers and matching team work hard to identify areas like shared interests, pets and hobbies that will help build a bond and rapport between your family and the child. We also recognise and take account of your skills and experiences. There are a lot of children who need a family each day so we need a broad range of foster carers. We will consider foster carers regardless of age, marital status, gender, sexuality, disability or employment status. Find out more on our can I foster? page.
- All the information you need to get started
- A fostering handbook
- Regular newsletter
- Online guidance
- We will listen to your views and feedback so we can improve the support we provide
- Celebration events for our foster carers to recognise the work they do
- Support groups which recognise foster carers' own children
- The PROUD awards recognise foster children
We know that word of mouth is our best source of recruitment, with our existing staff and foster carers referring friends and family who often go on to become some of our most outstanding carers. With this in mind, from the 1 January 2021 we are offering a word of mouth referral fee of £1500 to any existing Lancashire foster carer or LCC employee who recommends someone who then goes on to become a mainstream foster carer for Lancashire. The fee is payable to the referrer when the new foster carer is successfully approved and fostering a child for a period of two months.**
To show our thanks for choosing Lancashire County Council and to support you at the start of your fostering journey we are paying a fee of £1000 to all new foster carers approved after the 1 January 2021. The fee will be paid after you have been approved as foster carers for Lancashire County Council; you continue to be successful in your role as foster carers and have fostered a child with us for two months.
** The name of the Lancashire County Council employee or foster carer making the recommendation must be provided to the fostering team at the time of the initial enquiry or information visit to be eligible for this scheme.
Our foster care academy provides a thorough induction programme throughout your foster carer assessment and during your first year as a foster carer, to make sure you are equipped with all the knowledge and skills you need. For more detailed information about this training please see our foster carer learning and development programme.
We have a fostering mentoring scheme, where you will be allocated a mentor from the latter stages of your foster carer assessment and during your first year of fostering. This is to provide you with additional support and give you the reassurance that someone is always there for you. Your experienced foster carer mentor will be there to listen and offer advice and support when you need it.
Our fostering communities project provides local peer support to small groups of foster carers. This helps you, your family and your fostered children make links within the wider fostering network so that your support network is strengthened. The communities are organised by some of our highly experienced foster carers, who are overseen by staff from our fostering service. Foster carers involved in fostering communities benefit from 1:1 support from other carers, social gatherings and informal babysitting that is provided. This support will improve foster carers feeling part of a network of support.
We want to show support to our employees who foster, as we know having an understanding employer can make all the difference to people who are balancing work with caring for children. As of the 1 January 2021 all Lancashire County Council employees undertaking a fostering assessment with ourselves will be able to apply for an extra 5 days special leave, either whilst undertaking the assessment or post approval for training or meetings related to the fostering role.
Get in touch
Interested in fostering with us? We'd love to hear from you.
If you'd prefer to speak to someone then give us a call on 0300 123 6723