What is fostering

Fostering is when you care for a child and give them a family life in your home because their family is unable to. Foster carers make a huge difference and contribution to children's lives.​​

Children and young people come into local authority care for all sorts of reasons. It can be due to a parent’s ill health, family problems or because a child has been neglected or abused. 

These children and young people need to experience a positive family life and we are always recruiting individuals and families from all cultural backgrounds to provide the loving and caring homes that they deserve.

Contact us about Fostering!

Contact us today about Fostering!

Complete our fostering online enquiry form or call us on 0808 1753989.

Telephone: 0808 1753989

Types of Fostering


When you look after a child for a few weeks or months whilst plans are made for their future. 

This may include returning them to their birth family, placement with special guardians or a move to adoptive parents.


When you give a child somewhere safe to stay overnight or for a few nights. The child is typically brought to the foster home at night by a social worker or police officer and very little information is known about the child. Some children who are placed in an emergency do remain with foster carers in the short term.

Long term

When you look after a child until he or she is ready to live independently.

This provides a huge amount of stability for a child. 

Some of our children cannot return to their birth families and special guardianship or adoption may not be an option for them. 

Family and friends carers

When you look after a child that is already known to you.


When you look after a child to give their parent or carer a short break. This maybe at regular intervals for example at specific weekends, half term breaks etc. In these circumstances its important that the foster carer is available to look after the child for more than one occasion.

Who can foster?

Lots of people can foster. You can be single, married, in a civil partnership, divorced or living with your partner. 

Read case studies on Fostering

However, to foster, you should: 

  • Enjoy looking after children
  • Be in good health
  • Have some experience caring for a child, whether you’re a parent or not
  • Have a spare room, if fostering a child over 3 years old
  • Have time to care for a child. For example, if fostering a young child, this will mean taking them to and from school and taking them for visits with their birth family
  • You do not have to own your home; you can be renting
  • Live in or live within a reasonable commuting distance of Newham. Please see map of catchment area on pages 6 & 7 of our Fostering Brochure
  • Have a level of maturity to not only cope with the demands of caring for a child or young person but also be able to feel confident to liaise with professionals that are involved with children in care.
  • Be able to speak, read and write English to a reasonable standard

We welcome interest from people of all cultural backgrounds

We do not discriminate based on age, gender, religion, culture, disability, sexual orientation or marital status


Children less than five years old or with specific health needs will not be placed with carers who smoke. 

Children aged 5+ may occasionally be placed with carers who smoke, but we expect the carer, or member of the household who smokes, to only smoke outside of the home. This is because of the serious health issues for all children from passive smoking.

Fostering Criteria

The following criteria has been agreed as the current criteria for which Newham Fostering Service will assess all applications to become a foster carer.

To foster a child with Newham Fostering Service we want to hear from people who are;

  • over the age of 21
  • married, in a civil partnership, single, divorced or living with their partner
  • from any cultural, ethnic, religious or social background
  • heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender
  • living within a reasonable commuting distance from Newham (see section one for the catchment area)
  • renting or a home owner with enough space to accommodate a child
  • in good health
  • a parent or not, although it is useful if they have some experience of what it means to care for a child.

Fostering is a role that fits in with family life. You can be at home full time and foster a baby, you can be employed and foster a child at primary school or a teenager.

As a foster carer with us you will receive:

  • A weekly allowance to cover all of the child’s expenses based on the age of the child
  • Additional allowances for birthdays, festivals and holidays
  • A weekly fee for yourself, which increases with your experience
  • A setting up grant of £750 for you to purchase furniture and equipment for the child ( once approved)
  • Exemption from paying Council Tax
  • Your own social worker (the child will have a different social worker to you)
  • 24 hour support
  • Support from a monthly foster care support group
  • Membership of Newham Foster Carers’ Association
  • Free membership to Fostering Network, an independent support organisation for foster carers
  • Ongoing training throughout your fostering career
  • Invitation to the foster carers annual awards event
  • An additional payment of £1000 when as a Newham foster carer you recommend someone who goes on to be approved by Newham and accepts their first placement
Who are the children, needing to be looked after by foster carers?
  • Baby and toddlers
  • Children under 12 years old
  • Teenagers

Many of our foster carers look after teenagers long-term until the young person is ready to live independently.

We also provide parent and child placements - where the young person and their new baby are placed together in a foster home. As a foster carer you will need to supervise and work alongside the new parent to help them develop their confidence and parenting skills.

Newham Fostering Services gives priority to:

  • Those interested in caring for a teenager/sibling group
  • Approved foster carers wishing to transfer to Newham. 
Your fostering journey

If you are interested in fostering, please complete fostering online enquiry form, and the Newham’s Fostering  Recruitment Team will get back to you. Alternatively, you can call the Fostering Recruitment Team direct on freephone 0808 175 3989.

9019 Your fostering journey web graphic landscape v4

Applications from existing foster carers

Transferring to Newham

Applications from existing foster carers- it is a straightforward process! Please contact us!

In many cases, we can “fast track,” your fostering assessment because you have an existing Fostering Assessment.

You may be a carer (s) who is / are fostering with another local authority or a private or voluntary fostering agency. The three examples below explain our process.

For carers with no child in placement : in these circumstances, we would only expect you to resign from your current agency toward the end of your fostering assessment when the assessing social worker informs you that they will recommend you to the Fostering Panel for approval. 

For carers who have a Newham child/children in placement: you will need to remain approved pending your assessment going to our fostering panel.  The panel can then recommend approval pending your resignation from your current agency.  Parallel planning should then take place for the carers’ resignation from their existing fostering agency and starting with Newham to ensure that at no point the carer is ‘not approved’.

For carers who currently have a non-Newham child/children in placement, the procedure is a little more detailed. This will include

a. The foster carer giving notice to both their current fostering agency and the placing authority.

b. Upon receipt of the foster carer’s notice, the placing authority must inform the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer of the intended change.

c. A meeting with all significant parties should be convened within 28 days.  The parties will include the foster carers, their existing fostering agency, the placing authority, (or authorities if there is more than one child in placement from a different local authority) as well as the child’s social worker and a member of Newham’s Carer Recruitment Team.

d. The meeting will cover a number of areas including the needs of the child, support required, allowances, the plan of work going forward – timescales for assessment, panel date etc.

e. Once agreement to transfer has taken place, your assessment will be undertaken and presented to Newham’s Fostering Panel.

f. After the Panel has made its recommendation to approve and this has been ratified by Newham’s Agency Decision Maker; parallel planning will take place for the carers’ resignation from their existing fostering agency and starting with Newham to ensure that at no point is the carer ‘not approved’.

Other Useful Information

If you transfer to Newham, with a Newham child/children, you will to continue receive your current fostering allowance for the duration of the placement(s).

Alternatively, you can choose to move onto the Newham fostering rate, should this be higher than what you are currently receiving.

For detailed information about the transfer of foster carers, please refer to the Fostering Network’s Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol England (2014) (Reviewed 2019).

The Fostering Network website

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I foster if I am single?

Answer: Yes, many of our foster carers are single.


Question: Can I foster if I am in my 50’s?

Answer: Yes- many of our carers begin their fostering career at this age and have valuable childcare experience.


Question: Do I need to own my own home to foster?

Answer: No- you can live in privately rented accommodation or be renting from a Housing Association or Council.  

Question: Can I have pets and foster?

Answer: Yes, we may need to have a conversation with you about the number of pets in your home. We are unable to consider those who have specific breeds of dogs considered a risk to children.


Question: Can I foster if I have lodgers?
Answer: You will need to give notice to your lodgers before your Form F Assessment is completed.


Question: Can I foster if I have a conviction?

Answer: Some offences, for example those involving violence or against children may prevent you from becoming a foster carer.


Question: Do I need to spare room to foster?

Answer: Yes- you need a spare room, if you wish to foster a child who is over the age of 3.


Question: How well do I need to speak and write in English, to foster?

Answer- A foster carer’s use of English needs to be at a reasonably competent level. This is because the fostering task includes participating in meetings and keeping written records about the foster child.


Question: Can I foster more than one child?

Answer: Yes – if you have space. We prefer to keep siblings together. In some circumstances, siblings can share a bedroom.


Question: I am on benefits, have a spare room but no money to decorate it, can you help?

Answer: Yes, all our foster carers receive a setting up grant of £750 once approved.


Question: How long does it take to become approved?

Answer: Most of our fostering assessments are completed within 4 months. Please have a look at our 'Your Fostering Journey' image below.

9019 Your fostering journey web graphic landscape v4

Question: How much can I receive when I am fostering?

Answer: You can receive up to £511.68 per week depending on the age of the child you wish to foster.


Question: Do I need to be a British citizen to foster? 

Answer: No, please have a conversation with us if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or other status, which allows you to remain in the UK for 3 or more years.


Question: Do I need to be domiciled in the UK to foster? 

Answer: Yes, you are required to live in the UK whilst fostering.

Fostering Allowances

All foster carers receive a weekly allowance for each child placed in their care

Table of allowances:

Age To             

Child Allowance Rate

Savings Deducted at Source

Payment to Carer

Tier 1 Fee

Tier 2 Fee

Total Payment to Carer Tier 1

Total Payment to Carer Tier 2

0-4 £182.00 £10.00 £172.00 £145.00 £195.30 £317.00 £367.30
5-10 £203.00 £10.00 £193.00 £145.00 £195.30 £338.00 £388.30










£270.00 £15.00 £255.00 £195.30 £256.68 £450.30




Carers have two approval levels in Newham; that being Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Once a foster carer comes to The Fostering Panel initially and is approved (and have completed their Skills to Foster Training) they go straight onto Tier 1.

Approved foster carers then have one year to complete their Training Standards Development Portfolio (AKA -  the TSDs) and once signed off and approved by managers, they go on to Tier 2.


Within the child allowance rate, it is expected that a weekly amount is put aside for savings.

In Newham, we have an agreed policy that savings are managed and deducted at source. This means that the child allowance rate that is paid to a carer is net of the savings element.

Carers are therefore, not expected to put aside money for savings from the allowances which they receive.

Extra payments:

Birthdays and Festivals
On the child or young person’s birthday, the following sum is paid enabling carers to buy a present and treat the child, just as they would their own child.

Birthday Allowance

Age 0 - 4


Age 5 - 18


At festival time, the following allowance is paid to purchase gifts and a party for example.

Festival Allowance

Age 0 - 2


Age 3 - 18


Holiday Allowances
£300 will be paid towards the cost of a holiday for a foster child.

Holiday Allowance

Age 0 - 18


Foster carers are considered self-employed and are subject to special tax rules. They are often exempt from paying tax on all or most of their fostering income.

More information about tax rules for foster carers can be found by visiting or The Fostering Network’s website.

Foster Care Brochure

Newham offers an extensive range of high quality training courses.

Find out more by reading the Foster Care Brochure (PDF)

Related Features

Last updated: 06/11/2023

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