Fostering is a rewarding career and our Integrated Systemic Therapy Fostering team support a range of fostering families. A primary carer will be expected to foster full time. As a team we have a passion for wanting the best for the children in our care. If you also are passionate about wanting children to succeed, and you want to learn how to promote their recovery from trauma and abuse, you are the type of person we want to join us.

Fostering families come from all walks of life and offer a variety of experiences, knowledge and skills to this rewarding role. From our understanding we know that foster carers provide resilience, patience, tolerance, are consistent and reliable and offer a listening ear. If you have heard others describe you like this or feel this describes you, we would like to hear from you. If you have experience caring for or working with children and young people whom have experienced trauma and abuse, we would like to hear from you.  For further details about becoming a therapeutic foster carer with us please:

Support and Training for Our Foster Carers

At the fostering team we provide a range of services to make sure that foster carers are supported and trained to be able to get the most out of fostering. We find therapeutic fostering solutions to fostering issues and offer 24/7 guidance, support and advice. We believe it is crucial for you as foster carers to know the people you work with, and for us to know you and our children. This team approach is how we work at Childhood First.

Our service is dedicated to promoting the professional and personal development of foster carers to enable them to care effectively for children and adolescents with complex trauma. Bespoke practice-based training, clinical guidance and therapeutic support is provided to our carers to enable them to understand and care for children and young people with complex emotional needs. For more details of our Professional Development and Training, click here.

We are made up of frontline professionals who understand children and young people’s services and fostering. All of us have experience of local authority work, as well as voluntary agency, children’s residential services and other child care services. We are part of a multi-disciplinary team and have access to our fellow team colleagues’ knowledge, skills and experience. We all work with a focus and passion to offer children and young people the opportunity to turn their lives around.

We are a small and family friendly team, where we all know each other, staff, children and foster carers. We see ourselves all as part of a team / fostering community and work together proactively to promote the emotional well being of children on their journey too recovery.

We have listened to what foster carers have said, and are aware that people need to feel that they are valued; and part of something they want and are proud to belong to. Fostering families should have a say in decision making and issues that affect them. We actively involve foster carers and children in developing our services. 

Our philosophy is to care for our carers, so that they can care for our vulnerable children. 

Carers, children and young people know we care, even at times when they are not coping well.

The Process of Becoming a Foster Carer 

When you first contact iST fostering about being interested in becoming a foster carer we check out a few details with you, for instance, that you have a spare room. 

After a chat we will book a time to come and see you in person, this is an informal, information- sharing (getting to know each other) meeting, however the first ‘official’ stage of the process is an initial visit. If after the first meeting, everybody wants to proceed to an initial visit, at this stage more information abut your family, relationships and who lives with you will be collected. If you go on to apply to foster the process starts from here. 

If considered appropriate, you may be invited to complete an application form. You will also be asked to provide consent to obtain references and for statutory checks to be undertaken. A fostering assessment will then be carried out.

A Fostering Assessment

A fostering assessment is also known as a Form F assessment. The assessment process enables us to make a decision as to your suitability as a integrated therapeutic foster carer. It is your chance to show what qualities and skills you have to offer a child.

The process is very detailed – we need to gather as much information as possible so that we can build an accurate picture about your lifestyle and experiences. This is so we can make sure you are able to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for a foster child with complex emotional needs. 

You will be allocated a social worker who will spend time getting to know you and your family over a number of months. They will visit your home and spend time talking to you about yourself and your life, including past relationships, your childhood, personal interests, family, health and work history.

They will also need to visit your referees and discuss your support network with you.

A number of other checks will also be undertaken, including; home safety and pet assessments, medical reports, DBS and residency checks.

Alongside the assessment you will be required to attend some workshops as part of your journey.

Once the report has been completed the social worker is required to present it to our independent fostering panel, for their approval and recommendations. You will be invited to attend the panel with the assessing social worker where you can ask any questions you might have or discuss your journey through the assessment process.

Due to the current situation regarding Covid 19, iST Fostering is not currently seeking to recruit foster carers or to make any new placements at this time. This will be reviewed at a time when the impact and consequences of the pandemic are better known, and when planning for stable  foster placements can once again be undertaken.