Fosterline is funded by the Department for Education in England and delivered by FosterTalk.
Fosterline aims to provide free, impartial advice and support to foster carers on a range of issues that may affect them. These range from day to day questions about fostering service policies and procedures, regulations and standards and the rights, responsibilities and duties of foster carers and social workers when an allegation is made.
Fosterline is also available to people who may be interested in becoming foster carers, providing advice and information on how to become a foster carer, the assessment process, training and support, regulations and guidance and good practice in supporting foster carers.
Fosterline Advisors will signpost enquirers to other relevant sources of support where this is deemed appropriate for the foster carer e.g. specialist legal advice, counselling, specialist benefits advice.
Fosterline is staffed by experienced fostering advisors with extensive knowledge and experience of fostering & adoption and safeguarding children. Minimum requirements for the role are a CQSW/DipSW, or being an approved foster carer/adopter, together with experience of assessment, training and support of foster carers and experience of working within a local authority and/or independent fostering agency fostering service.
All Advisors have current enhanced Disclosures and where appropriate are HCPC registered. Training in telephone handling procedures is provided by FosterTalk and the Helplines Partnership by whom we are accredited as meeting the Helplines Quality Standards.
Fosterline provides advice and support to foster carers in complete confidence in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018. Therefore no information about the foster carer, including their name, the nature of their telephone enquiry or the issue under discussion will be shared with a third party unless the foster carer has given their express consent.
The only exception to this is where information is disclosed to the Fostering Advisor that would indicate a child or other person is at risk. In these circumstances the Advisor will share the information with a senior manager who will make a decision about the need to disclose this information to the relevant agency in accordance with FosterTalk’s Safeguarding Children or Safeguarding Adults Policy.
Fosterline maintains all records in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR. All calls are monitored for quality and training purposes and all communications are logged on our secure customer records management system.
FosterTalk is committed to promoting equality of opportunity as an employer and as a provider of services. FosterTalk recognises that individuals and groups can be unfairly discriminated against and acknowledges its responsibility to challenge discrimination, both direct and indirect, particularly any form of discrimination that is unlawful.
FosterTalk seeks to operate within a framework of fairness, openness, integrity and accountability and to extend its commitment to equality of opportunity via its expectations of those who provide services for the agency.
FosterTalk has a Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure which is available to all service users upon request. Fosterline also seeks feedback from service users at the end of each interaction and publishes these scores in our Annual Report.
FosterTalk has been awarded the Helplines Quality Standard Accreditation for 2019/20.