Psychological Support for Foster Carers

Children who are looked after have often been through difficult and upsetting experiences. We recognise that whilst caring for looked after children is highly rewarding, it can also be challenging. We work hard to ensure that Islington foster carers and the young people in your care have access to psychological support and specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) when this is required.

What services are available?

1) Psychological Support for Looked after Children

Islington CAMHS have a specialist multi-disciplinary team who work with looked after children, their foster carers, social workers and other professionals such as schools. When there are concerns about a child’s behaviour or emotional well-being, a Clinician from this team meets with every-one involved, to help understand the child and the behaviours they are displaying. This is called an assessment and a recommendation follows of what therapeutic input would be helpful. A range of approaches are available from CAMHS. For example, individual therapy for the child or joint sessions with the child and their foster carer. In some cases, it is most useful to work with the foster carer and not the child directly, with a view to helping them tailor their care to the particular needs of the child they are looking after. Foster carers have let us know that this kind of support can help them support the child they are looking after make progress emotionally.  

2) Psychological Support for Foster Carers

The foster carer role can be emotionally demanding even when the child you are looking after does not present with serious emotional or behaviour problems. Caring for children who have had difficult experiences in their birth families can evoke strong emotions. In addition, the foster carer role may involve helping children in your care move back to their families or onto adoptive families which may bring up particular feelings. You will be offered training and support from social workers with such tasks. However, there may be occasions when you would benefit from additional support. Islington Fostering Service commission a Clinical Psychologist to work along-side them and provide psychological input for carers when this would be helpful. This provides you with the opportunity to talk confidentially when the experience and task of fostering is having an effect on you personally.

How do I access the above support?

Please talk to the child's social worker or your supervising social worker about your worries and concerns. They will contact the CAMHS team for looked after children or the Psychologist attached to Fostering on your behalf.