Therapeutic Fostering

Our pioneering therapeutic fostering service aims to provide effective care using an adapted form of our unique Integrated Systemic Therapy approach.  

iST Fostering enables children who are able to cope within a family setting and at the same time need therapeutic support to experience a consistent family life.   It supports the healing of past trauma and supports recovery.  It helps children learn to trust and relate healthily to others.  It thus develops children’s capacities for socialization and improves life outcomes.

At the heart of the iST approach has been the principle:

The damage caused by relationships can most effectively be healed by relationships

Our model of therapeutic fostering accordingly places great emphasis on the power of healing through consistent and healthy relationships with the adults involved in children’s care and through experiencing a warm and nurturing family environment.  We try to reflect these qualities in our own relationships with our carers.  

Foster carers are provided with professional and academic training through our Institute of Integrated Systemic Therapy, nationally accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.  Foster carers will undertake our one-year Integrated Systemic Therapy Foundation Course, which has been mapped with the industry-standard Training, Skills and Development Course (TSD).  

Foster carers may also have the opportunity to undertake the Institute’s Certificate in Integrated Systemic Therapy which will be delivered by training seminars and supported by reflective practice groups.  Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is also available covering a range of relevant areas.

The therapeutic support available to carers is of the highest professional standard and is not time limited.  

This service is designed to offer an alternative option for placing authorities mid-way between a standard foster care placement and a more specialised residential therapeutic placement. 

Where appropriate, Childhood First provides a ‘step down’ transition from residential care into a fostering household.     With these transitional arrangements foster parents have a unique opportunity to work closely with the residential staff to learn about the child they will be caring for and to gain a great understanding about their needs, wishes and strategies of care.   

We aim to offer long-term placements that give a child stability.  The child or children are matched with a foster carer so that a child will where possible stay with their foster carer until they become independent as a young adult.

Refer a Child for Foster Care

Should you wish to discuss a possible foster placement, or to make a referral to our therapeutic fostering service, please get in touch: 

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.