Fostering (paid carer)

Happy boy

Fostering is a way of providing care in a family for children who cannot live within their own family; this may be for a very short period of time or it could be a long-term arrangement.

In Slough, we are looking for carers for children aged 0-16 from a range of ethnic backgrounds and are particularly looking for carers who may be able to look after school age children, teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs. We need people to foster children both on a short term (temporary) and long term (permanent) basis.

We will help you to make a decision on the age range, number and type of children you are able to foster.

If you are interested in fostering or other services within family placement, you can find out more at the childcare information sessions, run by the Family Information Service.

Could I be a foster carer?

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. Many different people become foster carers and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances: We welcome people from all walks of life: You can be:

  • single, married, in a civil partnership, co-habiting, widowed or divorced
  • any race or religion
  • have a disability
  • renting or owning your home
  • gay or lesbian
  • a parent with your own children

You will need to have a spare bedroom if you wish to foster children.

The important thing is that you can offer support, guidance and a positive caring family environment to help children feel secure and valued for however long they are living in your home.

Applicants need to be at least 21 years of age but there is no upper age limit as long as applicants are in good health. Children under 5 years of age will not be placed with applicants that smoke.

What support can I expect?

You will receive preparation and guidance for the task of becoming a carer, as well as on-going training, practical and financial support. Slough Borough Council foster carers currently receive a weekly payment fee for each child in placement, plus a weekly allowance for each child.

Why do children need to be fostered?

There are many different reasons why children of all ages may need foster care. Children may have suffered abuse, (physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect) or their parents may have experienced problems, making it difficult for them to care for their children.

Children that have experienced trauma, abuse and/or neglect, may demonstrate challenging behaviour. Foster carers will need to work with parents, social workers and other professionals to help the child overcome past difficulties and make decisions which meet the child’s best interests.

What type of care could I offer?

Short-term fostering.

This is a temporary arrangement. Carers are asked to be available to care for children in many different circumstances. A child might be placed on an emergency basis and only need an overnight stay; another child might stay with their carer for a year or more whilst assessments are undertaken and care plans agreed.

Long term-fostering.

This is a permanent arrangement. Long term fostering is a common option for older children who require a stable long-term placement and carers who can make a permanent commitment to them.

Quotes on the fostering experience in Slough

  • ‘I wish I had done fostering years ago. It is the most rewarding thing that I have done in my life.’ (Foster carer)
  • ‘When you can see a child smile, laugh – talk about what they want for the future it gives a sense of hope that what we do makes a difference as a family.’ (Foster carer)
  • ‘You are never on your own. I get excellent support from my supervising social worker who is always there to provide advice and guidance whenever I need it.’ (Foster carer)
  • ‘People ask us if it is a difficult job and our answer is yes – but then what job isn’t when you want to do it well?’ (Foster Carer)

More information

Contact us

If you would like further information on fostering, please complete the family placement enquiry form, call us on 0800 073 0291 or email