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Enhanced foster care

Enhanced fostering supports a child or young person to move into foster care after they have been living in a residential care unit.

These children may have already experienced foster care breakdowns. Building relationships and trust before they move in full-time is key. Enhanced fostering involves a longer period of planning and introduction compared to other types of foster care.

Providing enhanced foster care placements can help you develop your knowledge and skills as a foster carer. If you are an experienced foster carer and interested in offering enhanced placements, call the Fostering Service on 01603 306649.

Training and support

You will need to show you are suitable for the role of an enhanced foster carer. We will provide full training and support, including:

  • A clinical psychologist
  • 24-hour support line
  • Therapeutic care
  • A mentor for the young person
  • Dedicated respite if required
  • Group reflective supervision
  • School placement approved
  • Key supervising social workers that understand the case

The enhanced foster care process

Stage one: Matching and planning

Matching and planning can take up to six weeks. We aim to match the young person's needs with the experience, skills and personal qualities of our foster carers.

We will create a network of professionals around the young person and work with the placement team to decide what support will help them make the transition.

There will be a planned and reviewed introduction period. This is to make sure that both the child and the carer feel confident the match is right. They will start to form nurturing relationships and develop trust.

Stage two: Stabilisation

The stabilisation stage lasts about 13 weeks. The young person's placement begins, and we will help them to feel comfortable within their foster family.

We will also work with them to look at education or employment opportunities and create a personal development plan.

We will hold progress meetings every two weeks.

Stage three: Settlement period

The settlement period lasts about 13 weeks. Our aim is to provide warmth, reassurance and predictability to the young person. The team will provide continuous support, as well as a more tailored approach to the young person's needs.

There will be less intensive support if the placement is stable and a peer support network will be operational. We will hold monthly progress meetings.

Stage four: Maintenance

The maintenance periods lasts about 26 weeks. We will continue to provide nurture and tailored care for the young person. We will meet their needs, encourage their aspirations and build their emotional resilience.

We will hold monthly progress meetings.

Fees for enhanced foster care

Matching and planning

When the match is formally agreed, you will get a £250 retainer each week until the placement begins.

First year of placement

When the placement begins, you will stop getting the £250 retainer.

You will get:

After 12 months of placement

After the child has been in your care for 12 months, you will continue to get basic maintenance allowance and holiday allowance.

We may reduce your placement fee to the standard or enhanced placement rate. This will depend on an assessment of the young person's needs.

Children who need foster care

Why children might need foster care and the type of support different children will need

See more (Go to Children who need foster care)

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