London Borough of Barnet

Fostering

A mother and father hugging their son

Find out about fostering

Are you interested in becoming a foster carer? Why not come along to one of our information sessions and find out more. The sessions are individual appointments where you can chat one-to-one with a foster carer. Our next dates are:  

  • Friday 4 July Appointments are available between 10am and 12 noon
  • Thursday 17 JulyAppointments are available between 12noon and 2pm
  • Wednesday 30 July - Appointments are available between 4pm and 6pm
  • Thursday 14 Aug - Appointments are available between 10am and 12 noon
  • Friday 29 Aug-  Appointments are available between 12noon and 2pm
  • Wednesday 10 Sept - Appointments are available between 4pm and 6pm
  • Friday 26 Sept - Appointments are available between 10am and 12 noon

If you would like to book a place for any of these dates please contact us on 020 8359 6274, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or email us at fostering@barnet.gov.uk.

Watch our new recruitment film about fostering teenagers

To help us highlight the need for foster carers for teenagers we have produced this short film which features foster carers and care leavers talking about their experiences in fostering. It not only presents the challenges that can be involved in fostering children of all ages but also the happy experiences and the real difference you can make to a young person's life.

The film was made as part of an ongoing project with the Fostering North London. The consortium is made up of six boroughs- Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Islington who work together to provide the best possible service for children in care and for our foster carers.

How you can make a difference

Fostering is a means of providing care in your home for children or young people who cannot live with their parents. Most of these children will eventually return to their families.

The length of time for which they need to be fostered can range from a few days to several months, or in a few cases for several years. Fostering can make a real difference to children's lives. Caring for a child or young person in this way can be immensely rewarding.

"I am reminded daily why I do this job. When the kids give me a hug and tell me spontaneously that they like living here; when I use my skills to develop a child's self-esteem, giving them the confidence to say what's wrong; by being a significant part of the team that helps the child; when I have one of those 'nice moments' like realising the house is filled with laughter, singing and relaxed children, and when I see children move on positively." Karen, Foster Carer

If you feel you could make a difference to a child's life, please contact the Fostering Recruitment Team (details on the right) or come along to one of our information events.

Who can be a foster carer?

Single people or couples can foster, with or without children of their own. Carers can be heterosexual, lesbian or gay. We are looking for people who can offer a secure, safe, stable home for children and young people. You need to have time and space in your life for a foster child. Any child you care for will need attention and nurturing in order for them to adapt to having to leave their own family.

We need carers from all racial and religious groups to reflect the diversity of the children in Barnet's care. You need to have a spare bedroom for a child to stay in. However, children up to 24 months can share a foster carer's bedroom.

How would I cope with the extra financial commitment of a foster child?

Barnet foster carers receive a maintenance allowance to cover the costs of caring for a child and a skill-based fee as a reward for the care they provide. The total amount ranges from £366 to £533 a week per child. Special payments are also made for birthdays, family holidays and winter festivals.

The maintenance allowance is £185 a week for a child under 12 and £244 for a child over 12. The skill-based fee ranges from £181 to £289 a week per child. There are extensive tax allowances for foster carers and income from fostering does not affect eligibility to any means-tested benefits.

Will I receive training and support if I need it?

Foster carers receive thorough training before fostering and ongoing training while fostering tailored to the specific needs of the foster carer. This training is designed to enable you and the young people you foster to get the best possible experience.

All carers have their own social worker who is there for day-to-day advice and support. There is also a 24-hour duty social worker for out-of-hours assistance. Equally important is our network of experienced foster carers who are always there to lend encouragement, friendship and help.

Why do some children need fostering?

A child may need to be fostered for a variety of reasons such as an illness in the family where emergency care is needed, a child may have suffered abuse or neglect, or a breakdown in family relations. Sometimes children arrive unaccompanied from abroad.

How to find out more

Contact the Recruitment Team using the contact details on this page. More information is available in the fostering information pack which you can download by following the link on the right-hand side of this page

To access a copy of the latest adoption and fostering inspection report please go to Ofsted.

Our statement of purpose sets out our aims and objectives, and how we deliver our service. You can download it by following the link on the right-hand side of this page.