We recognise fostering as a career choice and want all our carers to have the skills and expertise to confidently provide a nurturing, secure home environment. We provide an extensive training programme as well as Personal Development Plans to identify ongoing training needs and review training received. Fostering can be challenging, and training provides the opportunity to network with others, share experiences and gain support.
We don’t expect any of our foster carers to walk alone and offer the following wrap-around support.
Supervising Social Workers
Every Brighton & Hove foster carer has their own Supervising Social Worker who will provide one to one advice and support. They will visit you regularly in person at your home, or online via video chat, and can be contacted by phone or email. Every year your Supervising Social Worker will carry out a review to ensure that your needs as a carer are being met.
Out of Hours Service
The out-of-hours service is run by members of the wider fostering team, so support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A rota is published each month so you will always know the name of the person on duty who will be available to support you.
Fostering Support Team
The Fostering Support Team is a group of fun, friendly and highly skilled professionals who work directly with the children in our care. The team can improve the stability of a child’s placement and help young people to reach their potential. Young people aged 7 to 16 are allocated a specific worker, who will work with them to build a trusting relationship. Together they will look at areas of need, including life story work, developing social self-esteem, independence skills, confidence and identity.
The team provide after school, weekend and school holiday activities and events for both foster children and the birth children of foster carers. The activities are not only a treat for the children, who get an opportunity to form friendships with others in similar circumstances, but also a well-deserved break for foster carers.
Brighton and Hove Foster Care Association (BHFCA)
The Brighton and Hove Foster Care Association (BHFCA) is an independent voluntary group run by foster carers for foster carers. If you are approved as a foster carer for Brighton & Hove, you automatically become a member of the association.
The Buddy Scheme is part of a multi layered approach to support new foster carers through their assessment, through panel and throughout the first six to twelve months of fostering. Our aim is to match new foster carers with experienced foster carers to ensure their first placements are a positive experience. Matches are made according to a broad set of criteria such as geographical location, personality, family set up and the type of fostering that the new carer hopes to do. The scheme has been a huge success with close friendships often established along the way.
We run several foster carer support groups, which are a great way for foster carers in similar circumstances to come together, support each other and learn from one another. Support groups include;
- Parent & Child Support Group
- Sole Carers Support Group
- Sibling Support Group
- Disability Support Group
- Cultural Support Group
- Male Carers Support Group
- Supported Lodgings Support Group
- New Carers Support Group
- Teenage Carers Support Group
- Support Group for Carers of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Young People
- Pre-Approval Support Group
We are always developing new ways to support our foster carers; their wellbeing is just as important to us as the wellbeing of the children they care for. Sessions are themed according to different aspects of wellbeing such as calmness, grounding, gratitude, resilience, self-care, and focus, and they include practical applications such as pebble painting, jewellery making, countryside walks and mindfulness/relaxation techniques.