We know to be a great foster carer; you’ll need support too.
We’re here to support you every step of the way, so you can take the best care of our children.
We offer 24/7 support, extensive training and highly competitive financial allowances.
When you start to build your foster family with Buckinghamshire Council, you become part of an even bigger, brilliant, fostering family who all have one thing in common; we care.
What is foster care?
With over 500 children in Buckinghamshire needing caring and supportive homes, we are looking for more local foster carers to ensure that children don't have to move far away from their family, friends and all that’s familiar. Foster carers are there to provide a safe haven where children can thrive, regardless of their experiences or background.
Foster care means looking after a child as part of your family in your home.
Fostering can be short term or longer term
You could foster for:
- a single night
- until adulthood
You can foster a child regardless of your sexual orientation, relationship status, faith or ethnicity - and whether you work full or part-time. Our foster carers are everyday people from diverse backgrounds who share a passion for helping others.
Being a foster carer is a big commitment, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. No one comes to fostering ready-made. We will support you throughout your fostering journey and can help you develop the skills to succeed.
Could you foster?
You can apply for foster care if you:
- have a spare room exclusively for a child
- are over 21 years old; and
- have indefinite leave to remain, or full residency in the UK
Support from Buckinghamshire Council
While money is not the main reason most people choose to foster, we believe you should never be out of pocket. Our allowance rates are highly competitive and are reviewed regularly.
The amount our carers receive will depend on the foster child's age and any additional needs they might have; our allowances increase as our carers complete training and develop their skills.
If you were to foster with Buckinghamshire Council, your training and travel expenses would be paid for on top of your allowance, along with supporting you with the purchase of essential items such as a bed or a car seat.
We provide regular, high-quality training – from child protection and paediatric first aid to understanding trauma and parenting and caring for teens. Foster carers are assigned an experienced fostering social worker, who will work in partnership and help build their skills and confidence. Plus, as a local authority, we know our children best and can quickly access information and assistance if required.
We also provide
- 24/7 emergency support
- five different support groups which are divided into locality, evenings and specialised groups
- groups to support the sons and daughters of our foster carers
- the opportunity to meet with a designated CAMHS worker for consultations
- mental health training and services
- highly skilled child and family workers who offer direct work to children
- an annual awards evening to celebrate our foster carers
- regular newsletter updates
For more detail visit: Support for foster carers and their families
Make a difference through foster caring
Watch the campaign video, showing how anyone can make a difference:
Support from our community
Support networks and community are key to success in fostering. We offer regular support groups to meet other carers and share experiences – across the county, daytime and evening, face-to-face and online.
Our foster carers can also access:
- a buddy system, pairing new foster parents with more experienced people, who can act as a guide during those first 12 months
- a sons and daughters group offering activities and support for our foster carers’ own children
Mockingbird is an initiative run by The Fostering Network and offers additional support for foster carers, inviting them to be part of a wider network or ‘constellation’. The programme links fostering households together, nurturing the relationships between children, young people and foster families and building resilient and caring fostering communities. A ’hub home’ carer (experienced foster carer) and a dedicated liaison fostering social worker offer fostering families peer support and guidance as well as social activities and sleepovers.
Mockingbird is highly regarded within the fostering community, with two ‘constellations’ here in Buckinghamshire, one in the north of the county and one in the south, with the aim of increasing these.
The experience as told by Debbie, one of our foster carers
“Fostering children through Buckinghamshire Council is one of the most rewarding, challenging, and worthwhile experiences you can have. You become part of a friendly, passionate, and hugely supportive community that works together to build a bright future for children in care. My household is part of The Fostering Network’s Mockingbird programme - it’s been such a pleasure to be there for the children and adults in our group, it feels like one big family.
“You might feel worried or daunted about the process of becoming a foster carer – but please don’t worry. Get in touch with Buckinghamshire Council, they’ll answer any questions you have and put you in contact with foster carers like me who can share their experiences with you.”
Debbie, foster carer and Mockingbird hub home carer
We care for, value and respect our foster carers so you can care for our children. We’d love you to join the welcoming community of foster carers in Buckinghamshire and benefit from all the support we offer throughout your fostering journey, the next stage is to get in touch.