Foster Carers Charter

The Charter sets out clear principles on how you should be treated and recognises your invaluable contribution to the lives of children and young people.

In particular, the Charter is designed to:

  • Make it clear that a foster child should be treated as part of your family and their views should be listened to and taken on board;
  • Help tackle myths that you cannot let your foster children do everyday activities like sleepovers and holidays without facing restrictions and barriers;
  • Set out how you should be supported in your role, so you know what to expect from your fostering service and local authority – this includes being provided with full information about the child you are fostering.

The Charter was jointly produced by the Government, fostering organisations, charities and young children. It was part of the Government’s wider programme of reform to improve the  care system The overall aim is to make sure that all children in care have greater stability, less upheaval and a better chance at a stable family life.

Click here to view the Foster Carers Charter.


  1. What Foster Carers Can Expect from the Fostering Service
  2. What the Fostering Service Can Expect from Foster Carers

1. What Foster Carers Can Expect from the Fostering Service

Working in partnership

We recognise that foster carers have skills and expertise that makes the biggest difference to the everyday lives of children in care.

We will:

  • Value your skills and expertise equally to those of other professionals;
  • Recognise that you are the people who live with children every day and know them best;
  • Include you in all meetings that affect you and the children you care for;
  • Ensure that the fostering service will meet the standards set out in fostering regulations and guidance;
  • Treat you without discrimination and respect you as a colleague;
  • Respect confidentiality.


We know that information is vital in order for foster carers to provide care that meets the child’s need.

We will:

  • Give you all the information you need in order to care safely for the child;
  • Provide this information in writing prior to placement (except when there are emergency placements and it is not feasible to do so, when we will provide this information as soon as possible);
  • Ensure that there is a Placement Plan drawn up in discussion with you and agreed with you in advance of placements (except in emergencies where this will be done as soon as possible);
  • Provide you with information on all financial matters including tax, allowances and additional entitlements;
  • Provide you with full details of all the fostering service policies and procedures.

Clarity about decisions

We recognise that in order for children to live a full family life foster carers must be able to make decisions regarding the children they foster.

We will:

Ensure that, wherever possible, you are able to make everyday decisions that mean that your fostered child is not treated differently to their peers and can feel part of your family.

Provide clarity about any decision you cannot take at the outset so that everyone understands who is responsible for what. This will be looked at in detail within the Placement Plan.


We recognise that fostering is an isolating and challenging task and appropriate and timely support makes all the difference to the fostering family and to the child in your care.

We recognise that positive endings of a placement are important for children, young people and foster carers and their families ensuring that support is in place to achieve this.

We will:

  • Respond positively to requests for additional support;
  • Provide you with formal supervision every month and regular phone or email contact or as required;
  • Give you honest and open feedback;
  • Pay you allowances, expenses and fees in a timely manner;
  • Pay fees that reflect your skills.

Learning and development

As a fostering service we recognise the important role that foster cares play in caring for children and young people. We have provided foster carers with a range of training and development opportunities to develop skills in meeting the needs of looked after children.

We believe that foster carers must be enabled to access learning and development opportunities throughout their fostering career.

This will ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need, and allow them to develop their practice in order that they can help transform the lives of the children they foster.

We will:

  • Provide you and your family with appropriate and relevant training by trainers who understand the fostering task. At appropriate times, including weekends and evenings;
  • Provide you with other development opportunities which make the best use of your skills and expertise, such as mentoring or providing training or support.

Fair treatment

We recognise that foster carers have a right to be treated fairly.

We will:

  • Consult with you before changing terms and conditions;
  • Ensure openness in all of our discussions and communications with you;
  • Ensure that you are treated with respect, kept informed and provided with emotional and practical support should you be subject to an allegation;
  • Provide a framework for dealing with allegations and adhere to our agreed timescales;
  • Ensure that you know the arrangements for the payment of fees and allowances in the event that you are not able to foster while the subject of an allegation.

Communication and consultation

We believe that open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship.

We will:

  • Facilitate regular communication between you, staff and managers;
  • We will listen to foster carers;
  • Ensure that we consult with you in a meaningful way on matters that affect you;
  • Give clear expectations around children’s Care Plans and the foster carers role within that;
  • Give you timely feedback from consultations.

2. What the Fostering Service Can Expect from Foster Carers

Working in partnership

Foster carers will demonstrate a high standard of care and conduct.

We Will:

  • Demonstrate expertise and make use of skills to the best of carers ability and provide children with an experience of family life;
  • Attend meetings about the children and young people that carers care for;
  • Work with the agencies involved with the child such as school, health and relevant professionals;
  • Show a willingness to work with birth parents, wider family and people significant in a child’s life as appropriate;
  • Meet the standards set out in fostering regulations and guidance and follow policies and procedures;
  • Respect confidentiality.

Respect for the child

Every child and young person should be respected as an individual and be supported in meeting their needs and achieving their aspirations and potential.

Foster carers will:

  • Respect and promote a child’s religious, linguistic and cultural heritage afford the same level of protection and care to a child as carers would their own child in accordance with the national minimum standards;
  • Ensure the child has the right to make decisions regarding their own lives, as appropriate to their age and understanding.


Foster carers believe that open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship.

Carers will:

  • Inform the supervising social worker/support worker about changes in the household;
  • Inform the supervising social worker/support worker about any difficulties that arise.

Learning, development and support

As foster carers you must be support and given access to learning and development opportunities throughout your fostering career. This will ensure that as carers you will have the skills and knowledge that is needed, and allow for development and growth in practice to help transform the lives of the children placed with you.

Foster carers will:

  • Be prepared to develop their skills throughout their fostering career;
  • Attend relevant training;
  • Take up opportunities offered.

Communication and consultation

Foster carers will:

  • Respond to local consultations and discussion in order to inform the development of the service;
  • Meet with supervisors and managers and others in order to promote dialogue and a good working relationship.