Return to listing

It takes a village: Why foster parents need to feel supported

At FCA, we hold the belief that providing support for foster parents is of utmost importance. That's why we are dedicated to creating a community of experts and resources to surround you.

August 15 2023 - 5 min read

When you make the amazing decision to become a foster carer, you’re joining an incredibly supportive community of experts, social workers, education specialists, therapists, and other foster families to help change vulnerable children’s lives.

While we all know that support for children in foster care is essential, at FCA we believe foster parent support is just as important.

After all, you’re helping to make a huge difference, changing children’s lives to create a positive future. And for that, you deserve all the support in the world.

Why support for foster parents is crucial

The work that foster parents do is essential for the children in their care. Recent statistics show that in England, there are over 82,000 children in the care system, with over 57,000 being in foster care. 63% of these children are in care due to abuse and neglect, among other reasons, which is why the love, stability, security, and support foster carers give their children is so crucial.

But we know that our foster carers cannot do their work alone. They need just as much care and support as they show the children in their care. Because, the more support they have, the better the outcomes will be for the children and everyone involved.

In order to provide the best care for the children foster parents look after, and provide them with everything they need to start paving the way for a positive and secure future, foster carers need to be looked after by their fostering service. This includes financial, practical, and emotional support for the whole family.

Caring for a vulnerable child is a team effort, and every member of that team needs to feel valued, respected, and listened to, to get the best results.

The importance of emotional support for foster parents

We understand that caring for vulnerable children is a rewarding job, but it can also be extremely challenging and exhausting. As a foster parent, you are the person who is there to help carry the emotional burden of children who can come with a traumatic or difficult background.

Many children come into the care system with trauma and complex needs, such as challenging behaviour, due to their difficult past. There are also children with emotional, mental, and physical needs, which can be taxing for foster carers.

This is why emotional support for foster parents is crucial. We know that caring for foster children and helping them recover and thrive takes time, but we are by your side every step of the way. We will work with you to provide a supportive culture where both you and your foster child can achieve the very best.

Practical support for foster families

Providing support for children in foster care is a 24/7 job, and one that stays with you even after your child leaves your care. There might be times when you need a little assistance juggling the day-to-day alongside your fostering duties. That’s why practical support for you and your family is so important.

Your own personal support systems are crucial safety nets when it comes to providing practical support. Most people jump at the opportunity to help others, but they might not always know what you need. That’s why when you ask family, friends, neighbours or other people in your community if they’re happy to support you as a foster parent, you need to be clear with how you’d like them to help. This removes any vagueness and lets people know exactly where they stand. Here are some ways a support system can provide practical support for foster parents:

  • Helping with household chores once a week while your foster child attends an extracurricular activity.
  • Committing to childminding once a month so you can do something social like go out for dinner with friends or your partner.
  • Offering a lift if your usual mode of transport isn’t available.

Supporting your family

If you have your own children, it’s important that they feel comfortable, cared for, and listened to when a foster child comes into your home. We’re here to support your whole family throughout the fostering process, and supporting your children is a big part of this.

We make sure that we speak to your children and ensure that they feel heard, respected, and valued, and they are always welcome to join us at our fun, regular events, and activities that take place throughout the year.

Our locally-held fun days are the perfect way for the whole family to enjoy spending time together and with other foster families, providing a great opportunity to meet new friends and speak to peers who understand each other. By involving everyone, we grow stronger and better together.

Financial support for foster parents

While we know that money isn’t the main reason why people choose to foster, fostering is a profession and our foster carers work extremely hard to do the best for the children in their care. That’s why we offer generous and competitive fostering allowances and payments, so you can be financially supported as you change children’s lives for the better.

Our financial support helps to eliminate your money worries and pays you a professional fee, allowing you to provide for your child and continue living the life you enjoy.

Not only do our parents earn approximately £435 per child, per week, but you will also become self-employed, which entitles you to significant tax relief. We like to go above and beyond for our foster parents, which is why we also offer rewards such as a summer and winter bonus of £250, up to 14 nights of paid respite, gifts for hitting fostering milestones, and an annual appreciation bonus.

Our Team Parenting® approach

At FCA, we never take our foster carers for granted. Your work is essential, and we’re here to provide foster parent support services to make sure you feel looked after, listened to, and supported every step of the way.

That’s why when you foster with FCA, you’ll be part of a team of people who are committed to delivering life-changing outcomes for children in care. This partnership is called Team Parenting®, and together, we can help give foster children a happy, healthy future.

Team Parenting® is a network of childcare experts who work with looked after children in every single area of their well-being. This can include therapists, education leads, social workers, and even the birth parents. Everyone is involved and everyone works together to help, achieving incredible outcomes for children and young people in terms of their emotional recovery and transforming their lives into adulthood.

Foster parent support services with FCA

At FCA, we know just how important support for foster parents is. That’s why we are here for you 24/7, to listen, guide, and assist you, however we can. Because, although we are a large agency, we will always maintain our friendly, family ethos. And when you foster a child with us, you’ll become a part of our family. And you’ll never be alone.

We strive to offer the best support for foster parents, because you are an integral part of our family. This includes:

  • A dedicated supervising support worker (SSW) to work with you and support you in every aspect of the child’s wellbeing.
  • Training and development to help you prepare to foster and develop your skills with ongoing training.
  • 24/7 support all year long to give you advice, guidance, or just a friendly ear to speak to.
  • FosterTalk membership offers free advice, support, and guidance whenever you need it.
  • Events and activities for all of our amazing families to network, enjoy, and support each other.
  • An online portal with lots of free instantly accessible information and advice (as well as a huge range of discounts and offers to enjoy).
  • Access to therapy services to help you understand your foster child and how you can care for them.
  • Education support to help with your child’s schooling.

If you’d like more information about fostering a child, then get in touch to speak to a member of our friendly team. You can ask any questions about what it takes to become a foster parent and how we’d support you at FCA.

Alternatively, you can download our free FCA’s Beginner’s Guide to Fostering a Child.

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.