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Training and support

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: 
  • support groups 
  • 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 

View our upcoming events
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. 

Our foster carers are paid a weekly allowance that is made up of two parts: a skill level fee and an all-inclusive allowance.

Skill level fees are based on your skills, knowledge, and experience. This payment increases throughout your fostering journey. New foster carers will begin on skill level one.

The all-inclusive allowance (AIA) is meant to meet all the usual expenses you have when caring for a child as a foster carer.

Depending on your skill level and the age of the children you are fostering, you could earn up to £592 per week!


  Skill level one Skill level two Skill level three Skill level four
Child aged 0-4 £216 £256 £326 £486
Child aged 5-10 £238 £278 £348 £508
Child aged 11-15 £278 £318 £388 £548
Child aged 16-17 £322 £362 £432 £592


On top of this, our carers receive annual payments to contribute to the cost of birthdays, Christmas, and holidays. Foster carers are also able to claim travel expenses and milage.

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Change the life of a local child and become a foster carer with Dorset Council
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Find out more about fostering with Dorset Council
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Download your free information pack today to discover more about becoming a foster carer and making a difference to a child's life.

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