What is specialist fostering?
Specialist fostering involves caring for our more complex children who need extra support.
Foster carers are needed across all age ranges, for varying length of times. This includes parent and child carers, people who can look after children with complex emotional and physical needs and step down fostering.
Types of specialist fostering
Parent and child fostering (sometimes known as mother and baby fostering) involves caring for a vulnerable parent and their young child. Foster carers provide a safe place for a new parent to take their first steps.
We need foster carers in Blackpool to look after children with disabilities, complex health or physical needs or challenging behaviours. These children may have experienced trauma and had adverse childhood experiences.
As a foster carer for disabled children, you could be taking care of a child or young person with a range of medical conditions. This may be developmental disabilities like autism, physical disabilities which limit a child’s mobility, learning or sensory disabilities.
When welcoming a child with additional needs into your home, you will provide them with personal care, learning and emotional support and a loving family environment.
Step down fostering is when a foster carer supports children and young people who have experienced trauma in their childhood and helps them to adjust moving from a residential children’s home to living in a family environment.
There are lots of qualities that make an excellent specialist foster carer including patience and resilience.
The role would be particularly suitable for those with a background in childcare, social care, policing, teaching, youth work or previous experience of foster care.
Experience isn’t essential however as our foster carers are given what’s known as therapeutic parenting training. This involves showing empathy and warmth towards a child and provides you with the skills to build lasting relationships with the child or young person you care for.
Empathy is key and you will need to be able to understand the child’s trauma and the advantages that they have missed out on in life.
Our essentials for becoming one of our specialist foster carers are that you must:
- Be over 21 and available to be a full time specialist foster carer
- Have at least one spare bedroom available
- Be willing to attend additional training to support the needs of each child or young person
During the fostering process, our team will talk to you about your preferences and capability.
Fostering with Blackpool Council means that you will never be alone.
Caring for children with complex emotional and behavioural needs can be a demanding task which is why you will receive tailored support every step of the way.
In recognition of this challenging role, specialist foster carers receive enhanced allowances. You can earn up to £750 a week to acknowledge the commitment required to this crucial role.
You will benefit from a support package that is tailored specifically around the child or young person and yourself.
A supervising social worker will be there to guide you with support, training requests or just for a friendly chat. You will also receive full training and support from our experienced team.
Take the next step
Not sure what’s involved in becoming a specialist foster carer? Get in touch and we can provide more information.
We would love to hear from you, contact us.