About Fostering

Every year, around 30,000 children and young people come into care. Many of these children will have suffered an unimaginable history of abuse or neglect.

Learn more about fostering

There are many emotional, social and economic benefits to becoming a foster parent. Ultimately, fostering makes a positive impact on children and young people’s lives. Even if you only have a child for a short period of time, you have the ability to nurture the child, teach lifelong lessons and set positive examples for their future.

The many benefits of becoming a foster parent include:

  • Making a difference to a child’s life
  • Experiencing a sense of achievement from helping others
  • Enjoying having children in your life
  • Gaining satisfaction from helping a child learn and develop
  • Having an opportunity to use your parenting or life skills
  • Helping your own family learn to share and care for others
  • Taking on a fresh challenge, whatever your age
Children come into foster care for a number of different reasons, including:
  • Children’s services may have intervened due to a significant risk of harm at home. A court order would have been obtained to have the child placed in foster care.
  • The child’s parent or guardian may have agreed to this if they’re no longer able to care for the child due to illness or other circumstances.
  • The child may be an unaccompanied asylum seeker, with no responsible adult to look after them.

Foster children may have led unpredictable, insecure and unsettled lives. At ISP, we ensure our foster parents offer children and young people the security and stability they need to build themselves a stronger, happier, more secure future.

As a foster parent, you’ll provide children in care with a safe and nurturing home, when they are unable to live with their birth family. While every child’s journey is different, often foster homes are the first positive experience of family life for a child in care. It’s your job to make them feel secure, loved and part of your family and make memories that will stay with them forever. You’ll teach them basic life skills, encourage them to work hard in school and help them find something they love. Over time and once trust is established, you’ll help them to accept their past, so they’re able to move forward and reach their full potential.

We’re looking for individuals from all walks of life to join our fostering family. You don’t need to have experience with young people, but a positive attitude and the determination to make a life-changing difference are essential. If you meet the following initial requirements, then we’d love to hear from you:
  • You are over 21 years old
  • You have a spare bedroom
  • You are a British Citizen or have Leave to Remain
  • You have the time, energy and passion to transform a child’s life
Read more about the criteria to foster.

In most cases, a child will need to have one foster carer at home full-time so that they get the very best possible care. (Although with some placements, there may be the possibility of doing flexible, part-time or home working – you can talk to us about this.)

To help provide for the clothes, food, outings and treats a child needs, and to put carers in a position where they are able to stay at home and devote their full attention to their child, a fostering allowance is provided. At ISP, we offer very competitive allowances to help you do the best for the child and reward you for your hard work. Our rates are very competitive and can vary from placement to placement.

Learn more about fostering allowances >

Short-term These are the most common types of placement and can vary in length from a couple of weeks to a couple of years. The children involved may be going through care proceedings or waiting to be adopted. Alternatively, their parents may be temporarily unable to care for them, through illness or other circumstance.

Long-term These placements allow children who can’t or don’t wish to be adopted, to live in a stable, caring family environment until they become adults. Unlike with adoption, the children remain the legal responsibility of the local authority, and fostering allowances continue to be supplied to the Foster Carer.

Parent and child These may be pre-birth placements, to help the mother prepare for the arrival of her baby. Or they may be a parent who needs some help to learn basic care skills, and how to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their child.

Specialist placements Some children have specialist needs – perhaps because they have a disability, or they have come to the UK seeking asylum and have little or no English skills. At ISP, we will provide you with the full specialist training to ensure you are able to care for these specialist needs.

Respite care All foster parents are entitled to 22 days respite leave a year. Similarly for parents of children with disabilities, regular breaks can often be a lifesaver. Respite care fostering provides these vital breathers for the carers.

To start your foster care journey, click here and fill out the brief enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.