Keeping local children close to their schools, friends and birth families is really important to us at Dorset Council.
Our fostering service helps children in care stay close to home by placing them with foster carers from their local communities. By doing this, we’re able to offer young people throughout Dorset a loving, stable place to call home.
By becoming a foster carer with Dorset Council, you’ll become a part of a wider community of carers made up of over 180,000 households across Dorset. You’ll benefit from our 24/7 wrap around care and support, and will have easy access to all of our training and essential services.
Our foster carers get an extensive training and support package throughout their fostering journey that’s tailored to their needs. This includes access to the Foster Carer Training Handbook which details all the courses available to you. You’ll also have access to our online training.
Within 12 months of your approval, or 18 months if you’re someone who has a connection to the family, you’ll be offered support to achieve your Training and Development Standards. You’ll also be expected to keep a personal development portfolio up to date so you can show what learning and development you have completed.
Once you’ve been approved as a carer with Dorset Council, we’ll provide visits every month to make sure things are going well, with regular telephone contact and additional support visits as needed.
Through these visits, our fostering social workers will help you develop a consistent and quality approach to caring for the young people placed with you.
Wider support is also available through:
the Foster Carer Forum (which meets on a quarterly basis)
the duty fostering and social work services
an out of hours service
social events (such as our fostering fair and annual awards ceremony)
other events which may be organised through the year
We will be launching a programme called Mockingbird later this year to deliver sustainable foster care in Dorset.
Mockingbird is a global award winning and pioneering programme led by The Fostering Network. It nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families, supporting them to build a resilient and caring community through a community constellation of six to ten families which is led by a hub home carer.
As a foster carer for Dorset Council, you’ll receive a skills-level fee for each child you foster based on your:
Weekly fee per looked after child (LAC)
Level 1: newly recruited and connected persons
Level 2: skilled (also includes connected persons who have completed the training, support and development workbook)
Level 3: advanced
Level 4: specialist
The all-inclusive allowance (AIA) is meant to meet all the usual expenses you have when caring for a child as a foster carer. We pay AIA in 4 age bands:
0 to 4 years
5 to 10 years
11 to 15 years
16 to 17 years
We also pay additional allowances based on your skill level
One child came to us aged two and couldn’t speak. He’s now hugely sociable and his confidence has grown so much. Watching the children thrive is the biggest reward!
Change the life of a local child and become a foster carer with Dorset Council