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Family link fostering

Family Link foster carers offer short breaks for a child with a disability, including children with learning difficulties, autism and physical disabilities. This gives them new experiences and the chance to make new friends. For their parents, it means some time for themselves and for any other children in the family.

Family link carers benefit from having experience of working with children with disabilities although this is not essential. These carers are recruited and approved in the same way as other foster carers and are carefully matched up with a child whose needs can be met by their skill set. The foster carers and the family then agree a pattern of visits, usually an overnight stay every two or three weeks or one weekend a month.

What will I need to do?

As a Family Link foster carer, you will need to:

  • Show you have the commitment, patience and ability to care for children and young people with disabilities and learning needs.
  • Support children and young people to transition between home and your care.
  • Encourage and support them to access education and extra-curricular opportunities.
  • Recognise that behaviour is a form of communication and adapt the way you parent accordingly.
  • Offer a safe and caring environment for a child.
  • Work positively with the child’s family and support networks.
  • Work with a core group of professionals who will support you to care for the child effectively.
  • Commit to developing your own knowledge and attend training.
  • Have some experience of working directly with or caring for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs.
  • Commit to the agreed programme of support and be available as agreed.
  • To be open-minded and have the commitment to make a difference.

What support will I receive?

As a foster carer, you will receive: 

  • Receive a nightly fee of between £71.71 to £111.70 depending on the needs of the child.
  • The support of a dedicated fostering social worker.
  • The support of a team of professionals who are working with the young people in your care and who can offer you advice and support.
  • Access to a full training programme, some of which will commence during your assessment period.
  • Access to a specialist training programme, some of which will start during your assessment period.
  • An opportunity to undertake a QCF Diploma for the Children’s Workforce.
  • Opportunities for peer support and networking.
  • Support from our in-house psychologist.
  • Access to 24-hour support via the foster care support line and emergency duty team.