VIDEO A transcript of the content is available.
We urgently need more foster carers from Southampton and the surrounding Hampshire areas.
Fostering a young person can be a very rewarding experience. You are able to work with them through what can be a very difficult time in their lives.
Our Fostering Service was rated 'Outstanding' at our last Ofsted inspection in December 2011. A copy of the
inspection report can be downloaded from the Ofsted website.
Our foster carers offer a warm, caring and firm foundation, helping children and young people to move into the future with confidence. To find out more about being a foster carer, you may like to read our carers' stories.
Young people in care come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Ranging from newborn babies to teenagers, they all have different reasons for being in care. Depending on your interests, skills and experience, you could look after someone with a disability or someone who has an ethnic background different to your own.
As well as 'standard' foster placements, there are also specialist aspects to fostering such as:
16 plus carers (aimed at helping young people who are 16 plus to move toward independent living) Parent and Child Placements (where a parent and their child will live with you in your home in order to gain parenting skills)
We also have an innovative specialised scheme that foster carers work closely with:
The Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC) (for 13-17 year olds) Fostering matching service
Our careful matching service means that we will consult you before we make a placement and we never encourage you to look after a young person if it does not meet your circumstances.
We use the word 'carer' because fostering involves more than being a substitute parent. The main difference is that most fostered young people will return to live with their own parents.
As a foster carer, you will also work as part of a professional team. This team includes social workers, doctors, teachers and therapists, as well as the birth family.
Fully funded and supported
All fostering placements are fully funded, carers should never end up out of pocket, please see the
'Fostering Finance document' below. There is also a skills based payment scheme available to carers who have gained experience and have undertaken relevant qualifications (which are funded by Southampton City Council). It's up to you how far you want to go, you can develop a genuine career in care by fostering.
We will allocate a supervising social worker to you. Their job is to support you and make sure you have everything you need to give the young person a positive experience. We will help you with regular meetings, advice and support with all aspects of fostering. You will have 24 hour back up, and can access our 'Out of Hours' team in case there are any emergencies. Once approved as a carer, you will also become a member of Fostertalk (please see below for link to website), an independent, not-for-profit organisation providing high quality professional support to foster carers.
For more information on fostering, please see our
frequently asked questions listed below, our video above, or visit our Facebook page.
If you feel you are ready to meet one of our team, please complete and submit the
'First Steps to Fostering' form by clicking the link at the top of this page. Once we receive this we will call you to arrange a visit for an informal chat in your own home. If you would like this page or any of its attached forms in a different format (e.g. Braille, tape or disc) or in a different language then please contact us using the details below.