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Support for foster carers

Find out about support groups, training and financial support available to foster carers.

We offer a wide range of support to our carers to help them foster. We understand that fostering a child can be demanding and we want to make sure that carers feel valued and supported in their role.

Social work support and supervision

If you are approved as a foster carer, you will get a supervising social worker from the fostering team. They will regularly meet you to discuss the child or children and any issues that may be of concern.

The child will also have a social worker. These social workers are available to help and support you through any problems and to make sure you are giving the best care to the child.

Our children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) can also offer you support.

Support groups

We have a range of support groups that meet regularly and are a good way to meet other foster carers. These include support groups for:

  • all carers

  • single carers

  • male carers

  • carers of teenagers

  • carers of under-fives or parent and child

  • family and friends carers (connected carers)

  • Lewisham Carers Support Carers (LCSC): who can provide practical help and support to other Lewisham foster carers

  • mentoring: where newly approved carers are linked to an experienced foster carer who can offer support and guidance.

Fostering out-of-hours support line service

This out of hours advice line is covered by a social worker. They will put you in touch with an appropriate experienced foster carer who can provide peer support and advice over the phone.

Opening times

  • Monday to Friday, 5pm–12 midnight

  • Saturday and Sunday, 9am–12 midnight

If you have an emergency that outside of these hours, contact our emergency duty social worker for support.

Membership of fostering network

After you have been approved, you become a member of the Lewisham Foster Carer’s Association (LFCA). We will pay for your membership of the national association, the Fostering Network, which offers regular newsletters and independent advice and support to foster carers across the country.

Contact with a child’s family

Many of the children in foster care will continue to have regular contact with their own families, who remain an essential part of their lives. Foster carers need to be able to positively support this. We offer our foster carers support and guidance to do this.

Financial support

You will get a weekly allowance. The amount depends on the child or young person’s age. This allowance covers the full cost of caring for the child. You should not rely on the money as an income and you will need to show that you have other means to support yourself financially. These payments do not affect any benefits you may get.

Training

After you apply, you must go to a three-day fostering preparation course as part of the assessment process. The course is designed to:

  • introduce you to what fostering involves

  • help you decide if fostering is right for you and your family.

When you’ve been approved as a foster carer, you will need to go to regular training. We provide a full and comprehensive training programme for all foster carers in the borough.