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Why Portsmouth?

What you can expect from us - the benefits of fostering with Portsmouth City Council

At Portsmouth City Council we offer a welcoming, professional and supportive fostering service to people interested in becoming foster carers and to our existing foster carers.  We recognise that support is vital and therefore give you lots of help along the way throughout your fostering career.   

These are some of the reasons why you might want to choose Portsmouth:

Being part of the team

When a child is looked after, they are taken into the care of their local authority who is responsible for making sure that the child receives the care that is appropriate. As part of the local authority Portsmouth Fostering Service works closely with the child's social worker to place the child with the best match foster family for the child’s needs.

Portsmouth foster carers are busy people whose services are used frequently so there are few gaps between any placements unless the foster carer chooses to take a break. Portsmouth foster carers are respected as part of the local authority 'team around the child' and play a vital role in making the right decisions for a child, right from the start of planning for the child's future.

Helping the child achieve

An important consideration in placing children is to try and keep them, where it is safe to do so, in a familiar environment. A child will be better able to cope with the stressful change of moving to live with a new family if they are able to continue their education in familiar surroundings and see their friends and family and keep doing their usual activities.

This is much easier with a local placement in the local area, and that’s why Portsmouth City Council needs more foster carers in Portsmouth and surrounding areas to make sure children can stay local and have the best start in their lives..

Training

As a Portsmouth foster carer you will be offered a wide range of training to help you support the children in your care and to enable you to progress and develop as a foster carer Training is an important part of the support we provide and Portsmouth is committed to your on-going professional development.

Training topics include: 

- managing behavior
- safeguarding
- safer caring
- reporting and recording
- team around your Portsmouth child
- first aid

Allowances and Income

Every Portsmouth foster carer receives a generous allowance for each child in their care. The amount varies depending on the age of the child and is paid weekly. The fostering allowance is to cover food, clothing, pocket money, and a contribution towards housing costs and other household expenses associated with day-to-day living.

Foster carers also receive set allowances to cover “additional costs” such as caring for a child over Christmas or another significant religious festival and the child’s birthday. Foster carers can claim travel and expenses when transporting the foster child and attending meetings or training. In addition to fostering allowances, depending on your experience and skills, Portsmouth foster carers benefit from a skills-fee. This will be discussed with you during your assessment to become a foster carer.

Carers with the skills and availability to care for young people with more challenging needs receive highly competitive skill payments. In most cases if your experience has been gained through looking after your own children, or the children of family and friends, you will receive a level 1 fostering allowance however you will have the opportunity through fostering to gain skills and experience in order to progress to a higher skill level.

If you have professional child care experience, or are already an experienced foster carer, we would very much like to hear from you. With Portsmouth you would receive a competitive skill fee for each child placed with you in addition to a fostering allowance.

How much will I receive?

Average weekly fostering payments per child include: Level 1 £200 per week; Level 2 £350 per week; Level 3 £500 per week. Fostering payments do not usually affect any benefits you receive or tax you pay.

Support

At Portsmouth we recognise that support is vital to help you really help a child. Foster carers have access to a range of support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

As a Portsmouth foster carer you can expect:

- Supported throughout your fostering assessment by an assessing social worker
- Following approval your own support social worker to offer you support, advice and encouragement
- Regular one to one visits from your support social worker
- An experienced foster carer to act as a 'buddy'
- A comprehensive package of trainingAn out of hours support service at weekends, evenings and bank holidays
- Support from other professionals specialising in health and education including child and adolescent mental health
- Respite care to support placements
- Regular support groups providing opportunities to meet other carers including a male carers support group
- Many carers form firm friendships through their fostering
- Support from the foster carers liaison group (a group of carers and managers whose aim is to advocate on behalf of carers)
- Opportunities to get involved in the development of the service such as recruitment events
- Equipment needed to care for children joining your family such as a buggy or a cot
- Generous fostering allowances and skills fees
- Access to Portsmouth City Council staff benefits
- A Portsmouth Leisure Card entitling you to discounts at Portsmouth City Council and other leisure facilities

Transferring to Portsmouth from another Fostering Agency

Are you already fostering and considering a move from your current independent fostering agency or local authority?

If you are thinking of transferring to Foster Portsmouth get in touch and we will arrange an informal chat with you and together we will go through what is involved and discuss if transferring to Portsmouth City Council is a viable option for you.

We understand that changing foster agencies is a big decision, which is why we make the process as straightforward as possible. When you transfer to a different fostering agency, you will need to go through an application and assessment process, much like when you first became a foster carer.

But as you’re already fostering, you’ll be fast-tracked through the system, meaning that transferring to us should be quick and easy. The process for transferring will be slightly different depending on whether or not you already have a child placed with you.

Either way throughout the transfer process we will work with you, your existing agency and the local authority for any children placed with you to make sure everyone understands what will happen, ensuring that any children or young people placed with you are fully supported. To ensure that all transfers are fair and safe we follow the Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol 2014 set up by The Fostering Network (https://www.fostering.net/all-about-fostering/resources/transfer-foster-carers-protocol-england-2014#.Vo_mgraLTrc)

Why choose Foster Portsmouth ?

- Regular placement opportunities
- Children matched that best suit your skills and experience
- Competitive fees and allowances
- Extensive support network
- Excellent training opportunities
- Be part of the local authority team working together to ensure that goals and  aspirations for all Portsmouth looked after children are achieved