Fostering in North Lincolnshire

Thank you for joining us and being a part of Foster Care Fortnight™ in North Lincolnshire during 13-26 May. The fortnight is an annual campaign set up by The Fostering Network to raise awareness of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.

Hear from Rachel Smith, Director of Children & Families in the video below as she shares a special thank you to all our foster carers and her own fostering moments.

Fostering information events

Social worker of the year award - team of the year children's services

Any of us can foster

Our award-winning film, ‘Any Of Us’, shows that any one of us has the potential to foster, if you have a big heart to care.

The film challenges misconceptions about fostering and is the largest public sector fostering film collaboration yet, with over 80 participants from local authorities around the UK.

Could you join our fostering family and be that someone who needs to be there?

Watch our film below to find out more.

North Lincolnshire Council provides different types of foster care placements to meet the different needs of our children and young people. How long you care for a foster child depends on the type of foster care you are approved for.

North Lincolnshire Council’s fostering services team was inspected and judged as Outstanding by Ofsted. You can read the Ofsted report here.

If you are interested in fostering or want to find out more, please contact our team on fostering@northlincs.gov.uk, call 01724 297000 or attend one of our fostering information events.

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If you would like to receive regular news, updates and information about our Fostering Community, please sign up to our Friends of Fostering newsletter.

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Fostering in North Lincolnshire

In North Lincolnshire, we understand that every individual and circumstance is different which is why we need all different types of foster carers. Our expert team work closely with fostering households to match children and young people based on the individual care plan and carer’s personal skills, experience and recommendation of the type of foster care approved for.

Mainstream Foster Care

From an overnight stay to permanence into adulthood, mainstream foster care is dependant upon the child’s individual needs.

The includes:

  • Long Term
    • Providing a home for children and young people until they reach adulthood.
  • Short Term
    • Providing placement from an overnight stay up to two years.
  • Emergency Foster Care
    • Some children and young people need foster care on an unplanned basis for a variety of reasons. Foster carers can be specifically approved to fulfil this role to meet the needs of children during an emergency situation.

Short Break Foster Care

Short Break Foster Care welcomes children and young people for a week or long weekend on a regular, planned arrangement or impromptu basis.

Short Breaks + Foster Care – Providing specialist care and support for children and young people with disabilities. This can include day care or a limited number of overnight stays per month.

Parent and Child Foster Care

A specialist foster carer scheme for young parents and their children. Providing advice and guidance on childcare whilst acting as an important role in the parenting assessment.

Connected Persons Foster Care

Wherever possible, children who require alternative care are placed with friends or extended family members.

Supported Lodgings

The supported lodgings scheme is designed to provide a stepping-stone for young people aged 16 to 24, on their route to independence. Space to spare and time to care? Become a Supported Lodgings host in North Lincolnshire. Find out more on our Supported Lodgings page.

Private Fostering

A private fostering arrangement is made without the involvement of the local authority by someone other than a parent or ‘connected person’ wishing to care for a child under the age of 16 for 28 days or more. It is imperative that the local authority is informed of these arrangements to ensure a suitable placement and the safety of the young individual.

Foster carers come from all walks of life and don’t need any specific qualifications to help make a huge difference to a young person’s life. If you are over the age of 21 with the room in your home and the time and love to give, our team want to hear from you.

North Lincolnshire Council consider each application on an individual basis, regardless of whether you are:

  • single, married, divorced or in a relationship
  • heterosexual or LGBTQ
  • disabled or able-bodied
  • in full-time or part-time employment or receiving benefits
  • have children of your own, or not
  • have previous experience of working with children, or not
  • are a homeowner or renting

We understand that fostering is a big decision which is why our expert team are on hand for support and advice about fostering and how it will fit into your life and family.

North Lincolnshire Council are recruiting foster carers for children of all ages but currently have a need for foster carers who can help support children aged 11+, sibling groups and children seeking asylum.

Foster carers must be at least 21 years old and be in good health, both physically and mentally. Fostering is demanding but also incredibly rewarding and our application process ensures that each applicant can effectively and confidently manage the pressures of fostering a young individual.

To apply please complete our online expression of interest form.

The predicted application timescale, from application to approval, is around six months. However, if you are an existing foster carer within an agency or another local authority wishing to transfer to North Lincolnshire Council, our team will be able to fast track your application.

Stage One

  • Complete our online expression of interest form
  • A phone call with a member of our expert fostering team, made within five working days, to provide further information
  • An allocated assessment worker will make an initial home visit, ideally arranged within seven working days
  • Your allocated assessment worker will undertake a thorough assessment of the household whilst providing ongoing support and advice. This will typically be completed within four months from application
  • Statutory applicant checks. North Lincolnshire Council are legally obliged to carry out statutory checks which include DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), medical reports, three personal references and a family member reference, and checks from current and previous local authorities
  • Additional checks will also be completed which include NSPCC, health visiting service, employer’s reference, previous partners (in discussion with each individual applicant) and interview with any children
  • Invited to attend mandatory Skills to Foster training.

Stage Two

  • Regular one-to-one support and guidance with your allocated assessment worker to complete an individual assessment report
  • Completion of the assessment report which outlines your assessment worker’s recommendation for approval. Each applicant will have the opportunity to view and add any comments to their report
  • Attendance at a fostering panel alongside your dedicated assessment worker to present the assessment report, comments and statutory checks. Following each fostering panel a recommendation will be made to the ADM (Agency Decision Maker)
  • The ADM will consider all of the information from the fostering panel and make a final decision within five working days. The final decision will be made both verbally and in writing by the assessment worker
  • Once approved you will be allocated a dedicated fostering social worker to support you throughout your fostering journey. You will also receive induction training and a foster carer’s handbook
  • Our expert fostering team will start to match you with local children based on care plans and your individual recommendation.

These are just some of the things our foster carers have told us :

  • I wasn’t ready to hang up my apron and stop being a mum
  • We find fostering very rewarding
  • Children are fascinating, funny, challenging and unique – every day they make you laugh and often amaze you
  • They are hard work but so rewarding
  • To see a first tooth or first step is a privilege and we are very fortunate
  • We take a great pride in improving their lives and giving them a better start in life
  • When the child is doing great you feel a great sense of achievement
  • When children you have in care start making plans for the future, you know they’re comfortable and confident enough to not just think of surviving the here and now, but are looking forward and making plans. They have dreams. I always smile when they do that
  • When you get a child to feel a sense of pride in themselves
  • When a little one puts their arm round you and snuggles into your neck
  • Just to watch them thrive and overcome their obstacles.

News stories

Support and guidance

Our Fostering Friendly Scheme encourages employers to support and recognise the roles of their employees who foster and helps to support the wider community.

Members of the scheme can support in a variety of ways including raising awareness in the community, offering discounts for foster carers or agreeing to put in place a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in their employment.

Find out more on our Fostering Friendly webpage.

We strongly believe that having a local support community goes a long way in helping you to successfully foster. You will have access to:

  • Support and supervision from a dedicated social worker
  • Regular foster carer meetings, coffee mornings and support groups
  • A buddy scheme with an experienced foster carer
  • Weekly information updates to keep you in touch with fostering news
  • Fostering Network membership offering magazines, independent support and discounts
  • Access to an extended out of hours support team on an evening, night or weekend

We offer our foster carers a comprehensive training package each year that includes a range of courses from specific mandatory training to additional tailored modules, that help enhance knowledge, skills and confidence within the role. In addition, children of foster carers can also receive specific training to help adjust and understand fostering further, along with the opportunity to join the social support group CAJU (Come and Join Us).

All foster carers are required to complete the mandatory Training Support and Development (TSD) portfolio and attend specific mandatory training courses within the first nine months of approval. This is discussed in detail throughout the assessment process.

To thank and celebrate our foster carers for all the hard work they do, we offer:

  • a generous weekly allowance which does not affect any state benefits you may be receiving
  • reward days, social activities and trips for the whole family – For example, this currently includes an annual summer fun day, trip to Flamingo Land and a Christmas pantomime for the whole household
  • interest free loans to purchase a new or bigger vehicle for the household. To take advantage of an interest-free loan foster carers must have a full driving licence, intend to continue to foster for the council for the full period of the loan and have children within the household at the time of the loan or within three months of application.

Apply for the foster carer car loan below:

North Lincolnshire Council works closely with tourist attractions and local businesses to offer a variety of free and discounted passes and entry. The list below is ongoing and includes discounts for both fostering households and care leavers. Please continue to check in regularly for updates.

Discounts for fostering households

  • Flexible VIB passes at Gravity Trampoline Park Hull for just £11.95 per month. This pass can be transferred to any child in your care and gives you one hourly session per day, every day. Find out more by visiting the Gravity UK website. Gravity also offers work experience and interview opportunities for children in care and care leavers
  • £3 entry for all you can bounce sessions at Air Kings Trampoline Park in Scunthorpe
  • Discounted entry to Messingham Zoo
  • 15% off entry to Sandtoft Trolley Bus Museum. Work experience opportunities are also available for children in care and care leavers
  • A Max Card which allows foster families discounted or free admission to a number of venues nationwide. Visit the My Max Card website for more information
  • NL Active are offering a specific Max card offer which includes:
    • Free swimming in casual and FunSplash swim sessions for the Max Card holder, and a £1 swim for an accompanying person
    • Half price family swim (2 adults and up to 3 children, the Max card holder needs to be present)
    • To redeem the offer the customer needs to present the Max Card at the reception desk when they visit.

Discounts for care leavers

  • Active Lifestyles (NL Active) offer a referral membership scheme which allows young adults aged 16 to 20 a complementary package for an initial 12 month period that is valid at all leisure venues within North Lincolnshire. This includes access to swimming sessions, squash and badminton courts and activity bookings. Please contact the young person’s personal assistant to access this offer.
  • Normanby Hall and Country Park are offering care leavers discounted park memberships. Care leavers aged 16 to 20 can receive a complementary Standard Dual Park Membership, whilst care leavers aged 21 to 25 can receive a 50% discount. To access this offer please contact Rachel.cottingham@northlincs.gov.uk

Our policies and procedures

Our Family and Friends policy [PDF, 369Kb] sets out our approach to ensuring that children are well cared for in family and friends arrangements.

Our North Lincolnshire Fostering Statement of Purpose [PDF, 1.12Mb] explains what the Fostering Service does and the rules that it has to follow.

We have also produced a Young person’s version of the Fostering Statement of Purpose [PDF, 757Kb].

Our Private Fostering Procedures [PDF, 200Kb] set out our:

  • general policies
  • duties
  • standards
  • timescales, and
  • steps to be taken

We are committed to preventing social exclusion amongst care leavers. Our Staying Put procedure [PDF, 1Mb] ensures that young people can continue to live with former foster carers after their 18th birthday. They can make the transition to independent lives at a pace that suits their needs.

The Delegation of Authority policy [PDF, 394Kb] relates to the delegation of decision making about looked after children to the child’s carers.

The policy is relevant to:

  • Foster carers
  • Independent fostering providers
  • Children’s Services social workers
  • Fostering social workers
  • Independent reviewing officers
  • Residential staff
  • Independent residential units
  • Managers of case management
  • Fostering and referral management
  • Lead Cabinet Members
  • Director of Children and Community Resilience
  • Deputy Director of Children and Community Resilience
  • Commissioning Officer for Looked After Children

Additional information about fostering

We welcome enquiries from existing foster carers who are registered with independent agencies or other local authorities.

You’re a private foster carer if both the following apply:

  • you’re not a close relative, ie grandparent, brother or sister, uncle or aunt or step-parent
  • you’re looking after a child who’s under 16 (under 18 if they’re disabled) for more than 28 days in a row

You must tell us about this arrangement by contacting us on 01724 296500.

What to expect

A social worker will visit you and the child to make sure the child is safe and being properly cared for.

The social worker will do background checks on you. They can also offer help and support.

You must tell us if you’re a parent and you’ve asked someone who isn’t a close relative to look after your child.

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering has lots of resources and information on private fostering.

It is an offence not to notify North Lincolnshire Council of a private fostering arrangement. Failure to inform the council may result in legal proceedings taking place.

Examples of private fostering arrangements

Private fostering situations can include:

  • Children or young people who are sent to this country for education or health care by their birth parents from overseas
  • Teenagers living with a friend’s family because they do not get on with their own family
  • Children living with a friend’s family because their parents’ study or work involves unsociable hours, which makes it difficult to use ordinary day care or after school care
  • Children staying with another family because their parents have divorced or separated, are hospitalised or imprisoned
  • A child from overseas staying with a host family while attending school, or overseas students at boarding school who stay with a host family during the holidays

Stop – are you looking after someone else’s child?

Think – will they be staying for more than 28 days?

Act – inform North Lincolnshire Council – Single Point of Contact immediately on 01724 296500.

All foster carers must be registered with HMRC. For tax purposes only, foster carers are treated as ‘self employed’.

For most carers, their total received from fostering is below the tax threshold and they will not have to pay any tax.

More information can be provided to you by the fostering team.

For further information please visit the government ‘Tax arrangements’ page.

Supported Lodgings

The supported lodgings scheme is designed to provide a stepping-stone for young people aged 16 to 24, on their route to independence. Space to spare and time to care? Become a Supported Lodgings host in North Lincolnshire. Find out more on our Supported Lodgings page.

North Lincolnshire Council are recognised as a fostering friendly employer.


01724 297000