Support that foster carers receive

With Oxfordshire County Council's fostering team you will get all the support and training you need.

Local support

You will not be alone - you will be supported and trained, working as part of a team of professionals with the aim of transforming the lives of children in Oxfordshire. You will also be working alongside a local community network of other foster carers in the county.

We have fostering teams based in:

Our central recruitment team is based at Knights Court, Oxf​ord.

Training

Training is an important part of your support package and is provided both before approval and throughout your fostering career. We are committed to providing a comprehensive training package to all of our foster carers so they are equipped to deal with the demands and complexities of fostering.  More information on training for foster carers.

Your supervising social worker

As a foster carer you will be allocated a supervising social worker who is there to support, advise and guide you in every aspect of fostering. Your supervising social worker will:

  • keep in touch with you, your family and children or young people in placement through regular visits and telephone calls
  • arrange for any additional support services needed
  • support you with attending meetings, writing reports, keeping records etc.
  • support you and help you to manage contact between the child/children and their birth relatives
  • identify your training needs and help you to achieve your learning and development objectives
  • keep careful records of the progress of children placed with you
  • make all the necessary statutory visits.

The social worker also works alongside the child's social worker. They work with you on matching a child who fits with fits with you and your family.

Your supervising social worker will carry out a review after your first year of fostering, called an 'annual foster carer review'.

Annual foster carer review

This takes place and is then presented to the fostering panel to review how your first year has been. This process is part of the Fostering Services Regulations

The review is an opportunity to change your approval status. For instance, you may decide that you can increase the number of children you foster or you may choose a different fostering scheme. Annual foster carer reviews are also a formal opportunity for you to give feedback to the panel, both positive and negative, about your year in fostering.

Carer coordinators 

These are experienced foster carers who are there to support and advise you. They are available from the start of your application to foster and from then on. They hold regular meetings and are available on the phone to answer questions.

The role of the carer coordinator

  • coordinate and run support groups
  • arrange foster carers social evenings
  • support carers with Induction Standards, allegation procedures and meetings
  • visit prospective carers and support them through the process, induction meetings
  • support carers who are on hold or are waiting for their first placement.

The Mockingbird Family Model

Support is vital in foster care and we know the role that foster carers play in supporting each other by sharing their knowledge, experience and providing practical support is essential.

Part of the support package offered to Oxfordshire foster carers is the mockingbird model, which focuses on peer support for foster carers.

How it works:

The model develops a hub and constellation structure. A hub carer provides support to 6-10 foster carers who live near the central hub home. This forms the constellation.

The hub home is like the home of an auntie, uncle or grandparent, where both children and carers can find support from someone who understands them.

Virtual School

The Virtual School aims to raise the achievements and aspirations of looked after children.

The headteacher and team ensure that schools, social workers, carers and other professionals understand statutory responsibilities and are aware of the best practice. Read more information in our Virtual School leaflet (pdf format, 120Kb).

Additional benefits and discounts Add a Drop down bar with the following text

Find out about the additional benefits and discounts that are offered to foster carers, these include:

  • membership to the Fostering Network
  • the Max Card
  • discounts to local leisure centres
  • free match tickets to Oxford Utd.

Oxfordshire Foster Care Association

Find out about the role of The Oxfordshire Foster Care Association (OFCA) who aims and objectives are to support not only foster carers, but also their birth families and fostering in Oxfordshire generally.