Foster care

The following information tells you about foster care. We have this information available in a hard copy booklet for you too. If you have any questions, please let us know.

What is a foster care?

Foster carers are people who want to help look after you, while you are unable to stay with your family. They will do all they can to help you feel safe and cared for while you are away from your family. They will listen to what you want and help you stay in touch with your family and friends.

Everyone in children’s services will help your foster carers to look after you properly.

The foster care team prepare, train and supervise our foster carers so they can look after you properly. They and your social worker are part of children’s services and will work with you and your family to give you the best care that they can.

What to expect when you are fostered

You have the right:
  • not to be spoken to in a nasty or hurtful way
  • not to be made to feel bad about yourself
  • not to be hurt in any way
  • to be talked to and listened to about plans or decisions made about you
  • to be helped in talking about your wishes and feelings
  • to be offered the right sort of school and play activities
  • to be helped to keep in touch with all important people in your life .The only exceptions may be if someone has to be with you when you meet with family (called supervised contact) or where we think that contact may be unsafe for you
  • to make a complaint. You can do this yourself or get someone to do this for you. This will be sorted out quickly.
  • to ask for, or approach, an independent advocate for advice and support. They will talk to people on your behalf if you want them to. The names and numbers are on the back of this leaflet.
  • to feel safe and comfortable

What happens when I go to live with my carer?

It is scary going to live with strangers. All families are different, so you will feel strange at first. Foster carers understand this and will do their best to make you feel welcome and comfortable.

Tell them how you feel and what you do and do not like. Ask them questions e.g. do I get pocket money? Can I choose what to eat? Can I use the phone?

Foster carers will tell you the rules and routines in their house so you know what to expect. Do not worry if people make mistakes. It will take a little time to get used to each other and work things out together.

Foster carers receive information about you and your family so they know something about you.  They will welcome you bringing your favourite and familiar things with you. We try and choose a foster family that is as close to your family as possible.  We want you to have as much contact with your family and friends as you can. It would be good if you could carry on with the same clubs, youth clubs, etc.

What if you are not happy with your care?

Please try to talk to your foster carer first. Questions and worries can usually be sorted out easily. If this is not possible, talk to your social worker.

You may want to make a complaint about children’s services, education, the health service or other things. Your foster carer can help you sort out how to go about this, or may be able to act for you.

People you can talk to:

Foster Care Team
Family Support & Placement Service
Tweed House
Hepscott Park
NE61 6NF
Tel: 01670 534450

Director Children’s Services
County Hall
NE61 2EF
Tel: 01670 533000

Client Relations
County Hall
NE61 2EF
Tel: 01670 533888

Advocacy Service
Robin Craig : mobile 07785 573426
Anya Proud : mobile 07768 658436

If you want to make a complaint or have a concern about the fostering service:

Tel: 08456 014772    (8am  to 6pm)

Staying Put is an option for young people and carers if they want to continue living in the foster home from the age of 18 and 20. Please have a look out our new Staying Put flyer here.