Information for Fostering Services
Fosterline is a free confidential helpline for foster carers and prospective foster carers in England, delivered by The Fostering Network on behalf of the Department for Education, to assist in the recruitment and retention of foster carers.
Fosterline responds to enquiries from current and prospective foster carers by telephone and email, from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm (except for Bank Holidays).
Foster carers using email or webforms to contact Fosterline will receive a response within 24 hours, or on the next working day, if outside of working hours. A voicemail facility is also available and calls will be responded to within the same timeframes.
Fosterline supports fostering services in the recruitment and retention of foster carers by:
- Providing free, confidential, impartial, advice, support and signposting to foster carers and prospective foster carers on a wide range of issues affecting them including; allegations, staying put, special guardianship, tax, benefits, care planning, and many more
- Providing an interactive Find a Fostering Service facility on our website so that prospective foster carers can search for a local fostering service in order to make an application to foster
- Providing a free Recruitment Notice Board where fostering services can advertise their forthcoming recruitment events for no charge. Make sure your fostering services uses this free facility to make prospective foster carers in your area aware of your recruitment needs and activities.
Supporting foster carers
Providing impartial, objective, advice, information and support to foster carers about a range of issues including,
- S47/safeguarding issues
- Allegations and complaints against foster carers or family members
- Children being moved from placement
- Historical allegations
- “Standards of care” concerns
- Reviews of approval
- Terminations of approval
- Appeals to the IRM
- Concerns about young people leaving care
- Children’s rights
- Listens and provides emotional support to foster carers in distress.
- Clarifies policy, procedure, and “next steps” in situations causing concern to foster carers.
- Provides information and advice to people enquiring about becoming a foster carer to enable them to make informed choices about their situation.
- Provide detailed guidance as to what further support is available to them either through their local authority or independent fostering service, other statutory or voluntary organisations or government bodies.
- Promotes the recruitment and retention of foster carers by providing a responsive, impartial and accessible source of advice and support.
- Advisers will discuss options with foster carers but will not tell them what to do.
- Advisers will not offer their personal opinion on issues raised, but offer advice based on the presenting problem and best practice guidelines, i.e. based on statutory guidance, national minimum standards etc., to enable the foster carer to make up their own mind about next steps.
- Advisers cannot take action on behalf of foster carers, however, they will offer clear guidance on actions that carers can take on their own behalf.
Recruitment and retention of foster carers
- Encouraging people to think about fostering as a career and answers their questions about the process
- Clarifying recruitment criteria and finance/support/training issues.
- Enabling prospective foster carers to identify fostering services in their area, using the web based mapping facility.
- Providing a facility for fostering services to advertise their forthcoming foster carer recruitment events free of charge.
- Clarifying regulations, guidance and national minimum standards about fostering and signposting to other sources of specialist support.
- Promoting the retention of foster carers by encouraging dialogue with their fostering provider when any issues arise.
- Providing regular updates to the Department for Education on issues affecting foster carers and prospective foster carers.
- Providing a free, impartial, responsive service that foster carers value.
Let Fosterline help you to recruit foster carers!
So that Fosterline can help you in the recruitment and retention of your foster carers, we suggest that you put a link to www.fosterline.info on your website.
Also check that your details are correct on our ‘Find a Fostering Service’ facility.