Our aim

​We believe that all children and young people in Northamptonshire deserve to live in a loving, caring and stable home with people who will support them into adulthood.

Our friendly and experienced social workers recruit, assess and support our foster carers across the county. The team work closely with the children in care teams to ensure that the right placements and matches are made.

We want the best possible outcomes for our children and young people. This is why we are committed to preparing, training and supporting our foster carers so that they can do the best for the children of Northamptonshire.

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Types of fostering​

There are many different types of fostering, each with its challenges and rewards. It is important to explore which type of fostering suits you and your family. 

​​All children usually go initially to live with short-term foster carers while decisions are made about their future. They may end up staying for just a few days, several months or even years.

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​If you become a permanent foster carer, a child will become part of your family until they grow up. Not all children want to be adopted, especially older children or those who continue to have regular contact with relatives.​

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​Parent and child foster care is an arrangement for babies and their parents. Parent and child fostering arrangements can be complex and demanding and require foster carers who are experienced, skilled and able to work closely as a part of a team.

Parent and child arrangements carry unique risks due to the vulnerability of often very young children and the potential of having an adult in a carers' home undertaking parenting tasks.

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We need foster carers to support young people in care aged 10-18 years who are in the youth justice system.

This is a specialist foster carer role, and we are looking for people with skills and experience of working with teenagers to really make a difference and help them turn their lives around.

Remand foster carers can receive full training, 24-hour specialist support, four weeks paid holiday and an annual allowance.

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Family Link gives disabled children in Northamptonshire the chance to spend time with another family to give their family a break. This could be for an afternoon or a few days. amily Link carers come from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They may be families with children, couples without children, single adults or single parents.

We are looking for people who have good experience of caring for children or feel they could offer good opportunities for children with learning disabilities.

There is a full training programme which includes preparation training and ongoing training for any specific child's needs.​

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"My foster carers will always be there when I need them most. They have helped me get into college, to fulfil my potential and my dreams".

   Danny - young person

​Training and support

Training

We are committed to helping improve outcomes for children and young people in Northamptonshire as well as helping you grow professionally and personally as a valued member of our team.

Training and development

Support

By becoming a foster carer with us you will bring your own experience, skills and expertise.

We will give you the support you need to really make a difference to a child's life:

  • Financial Support, with additional payments to cover a child’s holiday, birthday and religious festivals
  • Support and supervision from a designated supervising social worker
  • Payment in line Continuous Professional Development opportunities including e-learning and face to face training, with venues within Northamptonshire
  • Access to local foster carer support groups
  • A quarterly magazine with lots of information, events and activities
  • Advice and support on a variety of health and wellbeing issues
  • Preparation and support for your own children
  • Automatic membership to Northamptonshire Foster Carer Association (NFCA)
  • Peer Support such as Buddying schemes
  • Being part of a professional team who will work closely with you

​Benefits

  • You will be supporting Northamptonshire’s looked after children
  • We will always explore our in house carers before we approach external providers
  • We offer an age preference to our carers
  • Access to 30 hours term-time funded childcare
  • We provide an extensive offer of training and support including online and face to face training
  • Our training venues and fostering panel are based within Northamptonshire
  • There are established carer support groups in your area
  • We provide competitive allowances to include skills payments in line with additional training
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"We continually feel supported in our role and have always have someone on hand to offer advice or information whenever we need it."

   Kim and Colin - foster carers

 

Join us at an event

Our fostering information events and drop-ins give you the chance to find out more about fostering in informal settings at various locations around Northamptonshire.

Events

"My foster carers are supportive and always listen to me. They are patient and kind."

Melissa - young person

​Meet the carers

  • Dan's story Dan's story

    As soon as I walked in I felt safe and cared for: that I mattered. They’d got my room ready for me so I could take time out if I needed to. They knew how important this was for me. They were so patient and understanding, with the empathy I needed.

    It didn’t take me long to settle in. It wasn’t long before I felt confident enough to talk openly to my new foster family and start having fun with them. We always have dinner together where we talk loads and plan our weekends and trips away, we are always laughing, it’s a lovely atmosphere.

    Since I’ve been living with them I’ve been lucky enough to be part of family holidays and have been to places I only thought I could dream of – I’m making some really great memories.

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  • Lloyd's story Lloyd's story

    ​James and I never thought we'd be able to foster or adopt. Being a same sex couple, we just assumed we'd be ruled out because of this, plus we both work – I work full time, and James part time.

    You’ve got to be there for the children as they have good days, but as you'd expect they have really bad days too, but you learn to deal with these as you go along.  I'd say that you definitely need a thick skin to be a foster carer!

    There's always help if we need it from Northamptonshire County Council.  We have a good network of other foster carers as sometimes you just need to chat with someone who has been through what you’re going through.

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  • Maggie's story Maggie's story

    As remand foster carers, we look after young people who are going through the court system. There are a number of reasons why they might not be able to live with their families.

    It is the young people themselves that make fostering so rewarding and the relationships you build with them. You learn to read the individual and when to challenge them and when to step back.

    One lad we fostered is now grown up with four children of his own and he says he wants to be the type of father my partner is, which is lovely to hear. Seeing how far some of the lads have come is really rewarding and working with them really puts a smile on my face.

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  • Carlos's story Carlos's story

    Some of the young people have stayed with us for many years and others for just a few nights. Two years ago when our last young person moved on to independent living, we were asked to foster a number of younger children. They have stayed with us and one is now a teenager with the other one not far behind.

    Family life for us as foster carers for young people is chaotic, challenging and rewarding on a daily basis. It’s never boring as there’s always something new to learn.

    I have great fun taking them windsurfing, walking up mountains, off-road mountain biking and camping. Teaching them how to cook and prepare meals themselves is always enlightening!

    To be a foster carer you need to be able to accept the challenging times along with the rewards, but if you think you can improve the life chances of a young person I would encourage you to give it some thought.

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  • Emma's story Emma's story

    ​I grew up with fostering around me, one of my close friends’ parents fostered so it was always a big part of my life. I knew it was something I would eventually end up doing as I’m passionate about giving children a brighter future – the future they deserve.

    Yes there are challenges every day, but Phil and I have built up the skills to deal with these, we couldn’t have done this without the support and training from Northamptonshire County Council, and the fostering community is just brilliant.

    It sounds silly, but seeing children being allowed to be children and helping them deal with different situations and become confident individuals is the most rewarding job you could ever do!"

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  • Mark's story Mark's story

    "My professional background is working with young people with substance misuse issues and I ended up as a project worker with troubled teenagers. I was promoted to a managerial position, which lead to me becoming somewhat detached from why I originally got involved with young people, so I decided the time was right to look into fostering.

    "My two boys left home 2 years ago, so it was the ideal time for me to apply. My first foster placement was an emergency placement, but he ended up staying with me for five weeks. I’m getting my next placement in 2 weeks, a 14 year-old on remand who needs foster care. I’m really looking forward to it."

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  • Jess's story Jess's story

    We’re currently foster carers for two baby girls, one is nine months old and the other is 12 months so we’ve really got our hands full! But we love it and wouldn’t change anything for the world.

    Every day as a foster carer is so different, what works one day probably won’t work the next day so you have to be patient, flexible and fully committed, and a good support network is essential.

    We couldn’t have started the process if everyone in the family wasn’t committed, and thankfully everyone agreed that it was something we should do. We’ve never looked back since we were approved as foster carers and have given 12 children a loving home over the past few years.

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  • Hazel's story Hazel's story

    ​​I have been a Family Link carer for Northamptonshire County Council’s Family Link for 20 years. I’m currently looking after three different children on a rotational basis. This includes overnight and day care.  However long the stay, I tailor it to them and make sure it will be a good break for them.

    When I tell people what I do, many say it’s something they would consider doing in the future.  I say to them don’t put it off, there are children who need you! You can make it work for you and your family, it doesn’t have to take over your life.

    It’s such a positive thing and you’re giving a child the opportunity to learn and grow as well as giving a family some much needed time for them.

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