Our membership for foster carers is designed to ensure you are protected, supported and connected in your vital role transforming children and young people’s lives. Become a part of UK's largest fostering community today.
By listening to and working with our members we create vital change. We influence fostering policy and practice at every level and campaign to ensure foster care is the very best it can be. We also raise the profile of fostering and challenge the myths and stigma surrounding care. Join our membership to become a part of the UK's largest fostering community. Read more about the benefits of membership below.
‘Being a member helps me stay informed about what’s going on in fostering and links me in with other foster carers. Feeling like I’m part of a community is really important.’
It is essential that as a foster carer you are protected when caring for children and young people. All of our foster carer members receive market-leading legal protection insurance that covers the whole fostering family. This includes:
- a legal helpline for expert advice on allegations and help with any legal queries
- attendance by a qualified and experienced solicitor should you or any of your household have to attend a police interview under caution as a result of an allegation
- cover for up to £150,000 legal expenses if a criminal prosecution or civil proceeding is brought against you or any of your household as a result of an allegation
- cover for any allegations that you are made aware of during the period of your membership including historic allegations.
You are also covered by our legal protection insurance if you are a foster carer looking after a young person up to the age of 25 under Staying Put or equivalent (Continuing Care, Going the Extra Mile and When I Am Ready) or if you provide supported lodgings.
If you are a member, you can access the legal helpline on 01384 885734. Please log in and download the legal protection policy.
Our member helplines can offer you independent advice on all aspects of fostering, from tax and benefits to delegated authority. Open Monday to Friday, get in touch with your fostering queries.
We also provide a completely confidential stress support service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please call 01384 889 549 and ask for the stress helpline.
Learning and development
We support the development of foster carers’ skills and abilities through our wide selection of online resources, publications and training, all of which are discounted for our members. These provide relevant, up to date and practical information that will help you to provide the best possible care.
For many foster carers, securing a mortgage or getting the right home insurance can be a complicated process. To make it easier for our members, we’ve developed relationships with the following specialist home insurance and mortgage providers that understand fostering:
- Towergate provide home insurance specifically for foster carers and offer 10 per cent off the cost of a policy for new customers who are members of The Fostering Network.
- The Mortgage Brain provide specialist mortgage advice to our foster carer members and a discounted arrangement fee of £150 for a completed mortgage.
We are also pleased to be working in partnership with Williams Giles who provide a fixed fee tax return service for foster carers. For members who are not currently customers with Williams Giles, they are offering five per cent off this service, as well as donating five per cent of their usual fee to The Fostering Network.
We also understand the importance of spending quality time together as a family, so we provide discounts on family days out and holidays for our members. This includes:
- Discounts on tickets booked in advance for a host of attractions across the UK, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures theme parks, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE centres and sanctuaries, Blackpool Tower Circus and Eye and much more.
- 10 per cent off entry at Go Ape outdoor adventure centres.
- up to 10 per cent off holidays and short breaks with Haven, Hoseasons and cottages.com. Haven have pledged a Coronavirus Book with Confidence Guarantee, which means you can book a holiday safe in the knowledge that you are covered if the Coronavirus Pandemic interrupts your plans.
- 15 per cent off a huge range of arts and craft supplies available for home delivery from Baker Ross.
- 10 per cent off online orders from Foyles, the independent book store.
- 40 per cent off online orders of party games from Big Potato Games
- £10 off any three-month subscription to Little Cooks Co, offering an easy, fun and healthy cooking activity for your kids. Their award-winning monthly kits make baking simple.
All of our discounts are achieved through partnerships or agreements with providers at no cost to The Fostering Network. This ensures that all the funds we receive through membership are reinvested into our work making foster care is the very best it can be.
We connect our foster carer and fostering service members through events, providing the opportunity to hear about the latest developments in fostering and to meet others from the fostering community. All of our members will be invited to our conferences which offer expert speaker and best practice sessions exploring local, regional and national issues in fostering.
Our online community provides a space for foster carer members to connect, share advice, support and personal experiences with each other.
Log in to read and share stories, successes and challenges with a community of foster carers.
As well as linking you in with other foster carers, we want to ensure our members feel connected to the wider fostering sector. That is why all our members receive our termly Foster Care magazine, which is full of in-depth articles on hot topics in fostering, as well as inspirational carer profiles, book reviews and foster family stories.
Log in to read our magazines online. If you are not yet a member you will be able to read some example articles from our magazines.
In addition, our monthly e-newsletter ensures our members stay up to date with the latest sector news. If you are a member but are not receiving your monthly email or Foster Care magazine, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating change in foster care
You can get involved in our campaigning work by signing up to our campaigners e-newsletter. You will hear about opportunities to campaign for fostering such writing letter to your MP and taking part in surveys.
We also develop and pilot innovative approaches to foster care through our projects and programmes such as the Mockingbird programme.
Raising the profile of fostering
Fostering transforms lives and we want everyone to recognise the crucial role that it plays in our society. That is why we work with our members to raise the profile of fostering and challenge the myths and stigma surrounding care for example by delivering Foster Care FortnightTM, the annual Fostering Excellence Awards and through our media work.