Become a foster carer

Want to know more?

Enquire on the Shropshire Fostering website

Stepping Stones fostering is an intensive specialist fostering scheme providing foster care to children who are stepping down from residential home placements. This is to help prevent a young person becoming looked after and instead facilitates the intense support needed to reunify a young person home to their birth family successfully.

Who can do this role?

To be considered for the role of a Stepping Stones foster carer, you need:

  • To be over 21 years old
  • Have a spare bedroom
  • To be available for the young person on a full-time basis
  • Have significant personal or professional experience of managing young people with complex needs and who may have experienced significant trauma

 An example of professional experience could include:

  • Residential care worker
  • Police officer
  • Teacher
  • Mental health/health practitioners
  • Ex-social worker
  • Inclusion mentor
  • Working with children with learning disabilities
  • Foster carers with relevant experience

Ideally, the child or young person will be the only child in the household, however we will consider foster carers with other children in their household if they are settled, secure and assessed as likely to cope with a child or young person with complex needs and potential trauma.

What skills would I need?

To be a Stepping Stones foster carer, the skills and qualities you need to possess are:

  • A high level of resilience which can be supported by the offer from the Stepping Stones project (including in house psychologist and speech and language practitioners)

  • Therapeutic parenting approach

  • Possess good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work positively in challenging situations with all other agencies

  • A good understanding of attachment and the effects trauma and neglect can have on children and the willingness to develop these knowledge and skills

  • Relevant experience of managing the complex behaviours of children

  • To be flexible to meet the needs of the children and families, even when this means plans may change at short notice and there is uncertainty

  • The ability to contain one’s own emotions in a positive manner

  • To have the ability to work restoratively and be reflective on your own practise to aid positive development and to be able to take on board guidance and suggestions

  • To be able to assess children's needs and provide clear written reports, attendance and contribute to meetings as required

  • A commitment to continuous development

What would we want from a Stepping Stones foster carer?

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will be a vital part of the foster care provision within Stepping Stones and will engage in regular meetings with members of the team/service

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will be committed to the child's individualised care plan and work positively towards the aims and goals of this

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will be committed to attending and completing mandatory training under fostering regulations, and specific and identified training to enhance therapeutic approaches specific to the child

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer to demonstrate commitment to the young person for the duration of their care plan to achieve the outcome required

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will work closely with the Stepping Stones team, supervising social worker and young person’s social worker and keep accurate records and maintain regular contact with the agencies involved

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will support the child to attend any therapy or identified sessions to support their needs

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will need to be able to spend some time in the specific child/young person’s residential home to get to know them and make the foundations of a relationship

  • The Stepping Stones foster carer will work with the child's social worker and the Stepping Stones team to support a child who may be excluded from school and contribute to the plan of supporting the young person to access education

  • For Stepping Stones foster carers presenting as a couple, a commitment from both carers to attend training to develop skills and knowledge and maintain consistency is expected