Help and Support for Foster Carers
Help and support created for foster carers, by foster carers, we are the experts by experience, we have the knowledge bank
Created for foster carers by foster carers who are experts by experience. The first foster carers knowledge bank.
Access both the open pages and members area. Both are free to access and footprint-free. The member’s area gives you privileged confidential access to FosterWiki’s experts by experience for advice and guidance. You will also find short courses and guides from the foster carer’s perspective, top tips, allegation help, templates, and the ability to add to FosterWiki. With more content being uploaded regularly.
NUPFC – The National Union of Professional Foster Carers
The only government-approved and certified trade union dedicated to foster carers. A member-centric organisation run by professionals who are experts by experience.
The union will support and protect you fully in allegations, with a caseworker and a union rep to assist with your defence, to be on your side and virtually attend panels and other critical meetings. The NUPFC campaigns include rights for foster carers and a central licensing body. The NUPFC, similar to all other unions and organisations, require that you are a member already when you access help, support, allegation casework and representation. So it is advisable to join for future security and peace of mind. https://www.nupfc.com
The Fostering Network
Your provider may commission the Fostering Network to support you, you can also join as an individual member. The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading fostering charity and membership organisation, they bring together everyone who is involved in the lives of fostered children to make foster care the very best it can be. Their mission is; “a society where the importance of fostering is understood, recognised and supported”.
They provide advice and information to foster carers and fostering providers on a range of issues that affect the fostering role including approval, finance, allegations, legislation and relationships with fostering services. They also have a legal helpline and provide you with a solicitor in the unlikely event of getting arrested and charged with a crime, it is, however, important to note that if you are not a member of these organisations it does not mean you don’t get a solicitor in these circumstances as you have the legal right to a duty solicitor. If your provider is a member you can access an advice and meditation worker in allegations to provide basic support. https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk
Your local authority or agency may have Foster Talk (Fostering Network or Foster Talk are the two main organisations commissioned to support you). Unlike Fostering Network they are not a charity but a private non-profit arm of a business organisation.
Similarly to Fostering Network, they have useful information leaflets and advice on finance, legislation, approval, allegations etc and a legal helpline if you are a member through your provider or individually. They do provide training courses but these cost extra, as an example their ‘Virtual allegations training’ is £199+vat. Your provider may also put on courses run by
Also similar to the Fostering Network, Foster Talk have support workers in allegations (called FIIS workers or AST advisors, who are mostly social workers) to take you through the process, however, they do not engage in casework or your defence. They say: “We do not ‘take sides’ during an allegation and our support is always neutral….. We are not there to “take over”, but to make sure foster carers can speak openly about their feelings during a difficult process”
They too have a legal helpline and provide you with a solicitor in the unlikely event of getting arrested and charged with a crime. Again it’s important to note that if you are not a member of these organisations it does not mean you don’t get a solicitor in these circumstances as you have the legal right to a duty solicitor. It is important to note that you do not get a solicitor or
legal help in allegations as some carers have thought that was the case.
Foster Talk is part of the Martin James group of companies. Fosterline – This is the government’s fostering advice line, it is run by Foster Talk and Martin James Group who hold the government contract for this at present. https://www.fostertalk.org
Other unions and organisations
There are other unions (such as the GMB, Unite and the IWGB) and organisations whose membership is open to foster carers and these can be found on google. It is important when researching these organisations that you ensure the support for, and casework for foster carers is specific and specialised.
Always check that these more generic unions have caseworkers and reps who are fully trained and experienced in foster care support, foster carer contracts, agreements, child protection, fostering legislation, fostering minimum standards, policies and procedures as it is a highly specialised area and those representing you need to be specialists and qualified in this area.