Your fostering journey

Whether you're thinking about fostering for
the first time or are an experienced carer looking
to join us, here's what you can expect from EFC...
New to fostering?
Thinking of transferring to EFC?
1

The essentials

Take the time to consider your motivations, expectations and current circumstances as fostering will doubtless have a considerable impact on your life and the lives of those close to you. Our rigorous recruitment process will provide you with everything you need to make the right decision for you and your family; we’ll train you to do your job well and give you the support you need.

Play

Marisa & Andrew: Choosing to Foster

Who can foster?

At Enhanced Foster Care we particularly welcome applicants who are confident, nurturing, professional, resilient and possess a good sense of humour! We encourage enquiries from single people, couples, gay or lesbian, men and/or women – in fact, anyone who can offer a child or young person a fresh start filled with hope, opportunity, safety and security.

The majority of our placements at EFC are therapeutic, which means that most children placed with us have experienced complex trauma in their early years and so require high levels of support, intervention and understanding. Our foster carers receive exceptional support to help us achieve our aims, including access to a multi-disciplinary Clinical Team, and therapeutic Care Farms.

No qualifications are necessary, although previous child care experience is desirable, whether that’s as a parent or working alongside children and young people in some capacity. It is more important to us that you strongly believe you have something to offer a child or young person.

You will need to have a spare room.

Age considerations

We’ve worked with some highly skilled foster carers of all ages and believe a person’s personality and character are more important than their age. That said, life experience is the most crucial factor and it’s unusual for us to recruit anyone under the age of 24.

If you have the drive and enthusiasm, we would be delighted to hear from you.

2

Types of fostering

We provide quality family placements and work therapeutically, helping children and young people to overcome adverse childhood experiences and improve their life chances – using a trauma-informed and child-centred approach.

Emergency placements

These are arranged at short notice and allow children to stay for a few days to provide them with an immediate place of safety.

3

Fees, allowances
and support

Being a foster carer is no ordinary role and can be challenging as well as highly rewarding. We recognise the work our carers put in daily, and support them every step of the way with pay that reflects their passion. We offer a competitive fee structure and a generous allowance for living costs and activities that is well in excess of the Fostering Networks’ recommended minimum allowances.

Linda: On fostering Play

Linda: Advice & Support in Fostering

Our fees are tiered, dependent on the type and complexity of placement:

Standard Placements are offered to children with lower level or ‘mainstream’ identified needs, with no obvious challenging behaviour. Foster carers receive regular support from the Social Work Team.

Enhanced Placements provide an increased level of service to children with additional needs who are placed with foster carers with the skills to meet their therapeutic or behavioural needs. Social Work Team support is increased and carers are also supported by the Clinical Team.

Complex/Solo Placements provide a service to children with complex needs. These children are often unable to live alongside other children and may require constant individual attention. They require foster carers with a high level of skill and expertise and are supported heavily by the Clinical Team.

Unrivalled support

What’s more, foster carers with Enhanced Foster Care receive exceptional support in achieving our aims, including:

  • Comprehensive and relevant training
  • A ‘key lead’ for all children’s therapeutic intervention
  • A multi-disciplinary Clinical Team
  • Clinical supervision and consultation to foster carers working with therapeutic placements
  • Support from Social Workers with a small caseload ensuring dedicated support and attention
  • Clinical oversight of children’s plans
  • Regular clinical forums for foster carers
  • Clinical Assessment for children as appropriate
  • Opportunities for family therapy with a member of the Clinical team to avoid and minimize placement disruption or breakdown
  • Access to a therapeutic Care Farm offering therapy, respite, restorative work and co-working with the foster family to minimize disruption and aid progression
  • Fun days for all the family
  • Individual therapy for children and young people where appropriate
4

Training and development

We are committed to the professional development of our foster carers and staff and provide a comprehensive and structured training programme that exceeds the requirements of the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (2011) and Fostering Services Regulations (2011).

Shaina Play

Shaina: As a single Foster Carer

The SPECIALIST Training Programme

These are specialist learning routes that provide foster carers with the opportunity to develop specialist and expert skills in three areas of fostering practice:

  • Therapeutic foster care
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Learning difficulties/disabilities

The courses are run through a variety of mediums including classroom attendance and online courses to complete at home, and some need to be repeated every 1-3 years as a refresher.

Pre-Approval Training – Skills to Foster

This is the initial two-day course for prospective foster carers, usually held at a weekend, and covers the skills they need to become a foster carer. This is a requirement before you are able to be approved as a foster carer – we often recommend that transferring carers attend again if it has been a significant amount of time since they last carried it out.

Induction Training

Our induction programme follows initial approval and consists of a home-based visit that covers the practice, legal and regulatory requirements of the fostering role. The Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Carers covers the minimum standards for foster carers and must be completed within 12 months of approval. The training is delivered through a workshop learning environment and provides the knowledge that foster carers need to compile their portfolio to demonstrate a level of competence in all seven standards.

 

The Enhanced Training Programme

These courses cover essential skill-based learning and are delivered by external awarding bodies through online- or classroom-based learning. These provide foster carers and staff with the building blocks of essential practice of the foster caring role. Courses consolidate learning and focus on enhancing skills and knowledge within fostering practice.

5

How to apply

To ensure the very best outcomes for you, your family and our young people, applications are subject to extensive preparation and assessment. You will need to attend training groups with other prospective carers to find out about the needs of children and young people and to examine your own fostering potential.

The recruitment, selection & assessment of foster carers

The assessment carried out on each prospective carer is called a Form F assessment. This will be completed by an assessing social worker, who will visit you in your home over a period of several months.

There are 14 areas of competence that you will be assessed on. These fall into four broad categories:

Can you?

1) Care for children and young people
2) Provide a safe and caring environment
3) Work as part of a team
4) Think about and prioritise your own personal development

1

Thinking of transferring to EFC?

As an existing foster carer with another agency or local authority, we try to make things as quick and easy as possible for you to transfer to us.

It’s worth noting that foster carers can only be approved by one fostering agency at any one time, so the first thing to do is to get in touch with us and we’ll arrange to visit you at home to have a chat about what’s involved. (Whether or not you have a child placed with you at the time will make the process slightly different. See below.)

You can find out more about the transfer protocols that dictate how fostering services should manage the movement of foster carers, here.

If you have a child placed with you

As well as contacting us, you’ll need to tell your existing agency as soon as possible. They’ll arrange a meeting to discuss the transfer and we’ll come to that meeting with you.

Although every case is different, many carers can bring the child in their care with them when they transfer. You should never feel pressurised into staying with your fostering provider because you’re afraid of losing an existing placement.

Ultimately, the local authority will need to decide whether or not the child you are fostering can move with you.

  • If they can – you can go ahead with the process for approval to foster with us
  • If they can’t –arrangements will be made for them to move to another carer, alongside the process for your approval as a Foster Care Associates carer, however the best interest of the child will be paramount in any decisions made

While you’re going through the process, we’ll work closely with you and the child or young person you’re looking after to make sure that any potential disruption is kept to a minimum.

If you don’t already have a child placed with you

You can give 28 days’ notice in writing to your existing fostering agency, local authority or trust and apply to foster with us right away.

 

After we’ve visited you at home, we’ll ask your existing fostering agency for a reference. When we’ve received this, you’ll be able to begin the transferring process.

 

You’ll be allocated a social worker who will support you through your assessment. You’ll also take part in our pre-approval training.

 

We’ll need to see your portfolio of evidence so we can assess your skills, knowledge and experience, before presenting your application to our panel for approval.

2

Types of fostering

We provide quality family placements and work therapeutically, helping children and young people to overcome adverse childhood experiences and improve their life chances – using a trauma-informed and child-centred approach.

Emergency placements

These are arranged at short notice and allow children to stay for a few days to provide them with an immediate place of safety.

3

Fees, allowances
and support

Being a foster carer is no ordinary role and can be challenging as well as highly rewarding. We recognise the work our carers put in daily, and support them every step of the way with pay that reflects their passion. We offer a competitive fee structure and a generous allowance for living costs and activities that is well in excess of the Fostering Networks’ recommended minimum allowances.

Linda: On fostering Play

Linda: Advice & Support in Fostering

Our fees are tiered, dependent on the type and complexity of placement:

Standard Placements are offered to children with lower level or ‘mainstream’ identified needs, with no obvious challenging behaviour. Foster carers receive regular support from the Social Work Team.

Enhanced Placements provide an increased level of service to children with additional needs who are placed with foster carers with the skills to meet their therapeutic or behavioural needs. Social Work Team support is increased and carers are also supported by the Clinical Team.

Complex/Solo Placements provide a service to children with complex needs. These children are often unable to live alongside other children and may require constant individual attention. They require foster carers with a high level of skill and expertise and are supported heavily by the Clinical Team.

Unrivalled support

What’s more, foster carers with Enhanced Foster Care receive exceptional support in achieving our aims, including:

  • Comprehensive and relevant training
  • A ‘key lead’ for all children’s therapeutic intervention
  • A multi-disciplinary Clinical Team
  • Clinical supervision and consultation to foster carers working with therapeutic placements
  • Support from Social Workers with a small caseload ensuring dedicated support and attention
  • Clinical oversight of children’s plans
  • Regular clinical forums for foster carers
  • Clinical Assessment for children as appropriate
  • Opportunities for family therapy with a member of the Clinical team to avoid and minimize placement disruption or breakdown
  • Access to a therapeutic Care Farm offering therapy, respite, restorative work and co-working with the foster family to minimize disruption and aid progression
  • Fun days for all the family
  • Individual therapy for children and young people where appropriate
4

Training and development

We are committed to the professional development of our foster carers and staff and provide a comprehensive and structured training programme that exceeds the requirements of the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (2011) and Fostering Services Regulations (2011).

Shaina Play

Shaina: As a single Foster Carer

The SPECIALIST Training Programme
These are specialist learning routes that provide foster carers with the opportunity to develop specialist and expert skills in three areas of fostering practice:

  • Therapeutic foster care
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Learning difficulties/disabilities

The courses are run through a variety of mediums including classroom attendance and online courses to complete at home, and some need to be repeated every 1-3 years as a refresher.

Pre-Approval Training – Skills to Foster
This is the initial two-day course for prospective foster carers, usually held at a weekend, and covers the skills they need to become a foster carer. This is a requirement before you are able to be approved as a foster carer – we often recommend that transferring carers attend again if it has been a significant amount of time since they last carried it out.

Induction Training
Our induction programme follows initial approval and consists of a home-based visit that covers the practice, legal and regulatory requirements of the fostering role. The Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Carers covers the minimum standards for foster carers and must be completed within 12 months of approval. The training is delivered through a workshop learning environment and provides the knowledge that foster carers need to compile their portfolio to demonstrate a level of competence in all seven standards.

 

The Enhanced Training Programme
These courses cover essential skill-based learning and are delivered by external awarding bodies through online- or classroom-based learning. These provide foster carers and staff with the building blocks of essential practice of the foster caring role. Courses consolidate learning and focus on enhancing skills and knowledge within fostering practice.

5

How to apply

To ensure the very best outcomes for you, your family and our young people, applications are subject to extensive preparation and assessment. You will need to attend training groups with other prospective carers to find out about the needs of children and young people and to examine your own fostering potential.

There are 14 areas of competence that you will be assessed on. These fall into four broad categories:

 

Can you?

 

1) Care for children and young people
2) Provide a safe and caring environment
3) Work as part of a team
4) Think about and prioritise your own personal development

The recruitment, selection & assessment of foster carers

The assessment carried out on each prospective carer is called a Form F assessment. This will be completed by an assessing social worker, who will visit you in your home over a period of several months.

Need more information?

There’s more information on our FAQs page, you can find out more about our carer’s experiences on the videos or please feel free to get in touch on:

01985 218505

We will be happy to discuss your options

Get Into Fostering Brochure