Fostering training, funding and support

Everybody who fosters with Southampton City Council will receive outstanding training opportunities, expert support throughout every placement, and competitive funding to ensure you are never out of pocket.

Mother and son walking dog

Training for foster carers

We offer a wide range of training courses throughout the year so that you can develop a diverse skillset, which in turn will ensure successful fostering placements.

Every carer will be expected to attend a small number of mandatory training courses. Beyond those, you are free to pick and choose the courses that you feel will be most relevant to your chosen type of foster caring or that cover aspects of caring on which you think you need to improve.

Please see our full training calendar to see the complete listings of available courses.

In some cases, completing advanced training, gaining experience, and undertaking relevant qualifications will increase the funding you receive.

Funding for foster carers

You will receive a weekly allowance to cover normal maintenance, pocket money, clothing, and local travel. The amount is dependent on the age of the child and number of children you look after.

You also have the opportunity to benefit from our skills-based payment scheme. Gaining experience and completing training courses give you the opportunity to become a Level 1 or Level 2 Carer. At these levels, you will receive significantly larger weekly fees. For example, if you are fostering a single child between 5-10 years old, you could receive around £274 per week as a Level 1 Carer or £380 as a Level 2 Carer.

Please see the Fostering Allowance document for more information on fees and allowances.

If you are receiving benefits, you will need to make your advisor aware that you are fostering. We also advise registering as self-employed. Income Support will not be affected while you have a child in placement.

We also run a Recommend a Friend scheme where you can receive up to £500 for successfully introducing a new foster carer.

Support for foster carers

Alongside your training, Southampton City Council is able to offer you excellent ongoing support through every foster placement.

We will allocate you a supervising social worker. They will support you at every step of the fostering process, and make sure you have everything you need to give a young person a positive experience.

You will also have 24-hour support through our Out of Hours team, who are ready to help in the case of an emergency outside of office hours.

Plus, once you’re approved as a carer you will become a member of Fostertalk, an independent, not-for-profit organisation providing high quality professional support to all foster carers.

Male Foster Carer Support Group

Men are fantastic foster carers too!

As part of recognising and supporting the important role men play in providing foster care, in 2019 a Male Foster Carer Support Group was set up for Southampton City Council male foster carers. It runs on the first Wednesday of every month at different venues around Southampton*.

The group enables male carers to: 

  • Connect with other male foster carers
  • Explore how men contribute to foster care
  • Raise concerns in a trusting environment
  • Shape the future of foster care services
  • Receive peer support and advice
  • Make friends over a pint
  • Take part in fun activities

In the future, the group hopes to hold training and discussions on:

  • How to develop the group by making it more accessible and valuable to male carers
  • How fostering services can be more ‘male friendly’ 
  • The main anxieties of being a male foster carer

Foster carer David, said: “I attended the Male Foster Carer Support Group twice; once at the pub and the other time at the Civic Centre in Southampton. Both occasions provided us with the opportunity to chat together about what was going well, and what challenges we were facing at that time! I found it fascinating hearing other people's stories and experiences, as well as sharing some of my own. I would definitely encourage more men to join in. It's a great opportunity to chat informally and spend some time together with like-minded people!”

For more information call the Fostering Team on 0800 5 191818 or email

Visit our types of fostering page to decide which type of foster care is right for you.


Telephone: 0800 519 18 18