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Are you thinking about becoming a foster carer or wondering whether fostering is right for you?

There are around 75,000 children and young people in the care of local authorities at any one time, with approximately 75% placed in foster care. There is a national shortage of foster carers for particular groups of children including siblings, teenagers, children with disabilities, black and ethnic minority children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

If you are interested in fostering but not sure where to start, it’s best to find out as much as possible about what is involved in fostering, the assessment process and the training and support available to you. This is where Fosterline can help!

Fosterline is a free, confidential helpline provided by FosterTalk on behalf of the Department for Education, offering advice on fostering issues where you will find lots of advice and information to help you, including a mapping facility to find a fostering service in your area.

Would you like to know what fostering involves, how long it takes to become a carer or what training and support you’ll receive? We can help. Simply call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 from 9am-5 pm, Monday to Friday. Calling outside of office hours? Leave a message and an advisor will call you back the next working day.

For more information on Fosterline, please visit Fosterline is delivered by FosterTalk, and is funded by Department for Education.

Visit Fosterline and read our frequently asked questions

Or, take our Fostering Quiz to see if you could foster

You can find a local fostering service by using our interactive mapping system here

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer but haven’t yet completed your fostering journey, we can still help. FosterTalk offers pre-approval membership to foster carers going through the assessment process and includes access to unlimited advice and support right through to fostering panel and beyond. Once you have been approved as a foster carer your FosterTalk Membership will be upgraded to include all the benefits of an approved foster carer

FosterTalk’s pre-approval membership includes access to:

  • General fostering advice helpline
  • 24-hour legal advice helpline
  • Accountancy and tax advice
  • 24-hour counselling helpline
  • Personal finance advice helpline
  • Website and online forums
  • Quarterly magazine
  • Thousands of high street discounts
  • Education advisory service
  • 24-hour medical and first aid helpline

Interested? To find out more click here

If you’d like to take the next step into fostering, don’t forget, there are a number of different types of Fostering Services Providers operating in most regions. These are usually local authority fostering services and independent fostering agencies (IFA’s) Choose the one that is right for you. Focus on the key elements of support, training and assistance in your fostering career.

Why not search online? If you type “fostering” into your internet search engine, you’ll be presented with a wide range of Fostering Service Providers in your region. Or visit and click on the interactive mapping system to find your local fostering providers.

Fosterline is a free advice line and website for foster carers or people interested in fostering, where you will find lots of advice and information to help you. Fosterline is delivered by FosterTalk and funded by Department for Education.


In England, all foster carers are required to complete the Training Support and Development Standards within 12 months of becoming approved as a foster carer. The Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards form part of a foster carer’s induction into their role. They provide a national minimum benchmark that sets out what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within the first 12 months after being approved.

There are TSD workbooks for foster carers, short breaks carers and family and friends carers(kinship carers) If you’re a foster carer or about to start the TSD standards, and you’d like help completing the workbook, talk to your supervising social worker who will be able to support and guide you.

More information on the Training Support and Development Standards can be found here:


The Care Council for Wales has published a workbook to help support foster carers become effective foster carers in Wales and ensure they have the correct set of knowledge and skills to meet their role in supporting children and young people.

This guide explains how to use the Induction Framework and how to meet each of the required seven outcomes. Each section provides a summary of the outcome, the skills you need to meet the outcome, guidance to help you think how to apply this knowledge, sample questions and activities, and how to show that you have met the outcome. The outcomes are: principles and values, your role in the children’s workforce, health, safety and security; listening and communication; development and behaviour; rights of children and young people; keeping children safe from harm and developing yourself and your skills. The Induction Framework also links with National Occupational Standards, other quality standards and codes of practice relevant to work with all children and young people.

The induction framework for foster carers’ workbook can be found here: