Statement of Purpose

Nottinghamshire County Council - Fostering Service 2023/24

This Statement of Intent sets out Nottinghamshire Council Council’s commitments to its children, their parents, Foster Carers and staff with regards to fostering. This document clearly sets out the aims and objectives of our Fostering Service, detailing what services and facilities we provide.

This Statement of Purpose fulfills the requirements of Standard 16 of the Fostering Services Minimum Standards (Care Standards Act, 2000) and Regulation 3 of the Fostering Services Regulations 2011.

The primary purpose of foster care is to provide a safe and stable family environment for a child who cannot be with his or her parents for some reason.

Many of the children who need foster care have suffered abuse and/or neglect, and they may not have experienced a nurturing and loving parent/child relationship. Foster parents help them to learn what it is like to live in a safe and loving home, with regular meals, schooling, play, and normal family routines.

Foster parents teach children what a family looks like and can provide the individual attention and guidance they need to help them grow and develop according to their age.

Foster parents help children learn about themselves and the world around them in a positive way after experiencing negativity in their lives. They help children achieve their potential, regardless of their start in life.

The Fostering Service provides a professional structure of Foster Carers, Social Workers, Fostering Family Workers and Fostering Support Workers who are all dedicated to providing strong and supportive family homes for children and young people who need them. The welfare and wellbeing of the child is the focus of the Fostering Service.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Family Services is managed by a Corporate Director and provides universal and specific services to children. This in turn is organised into four Service areas, each managed by a Service Director:


  • Education, Learning and Inclusion

  • Commissioning and Resources

  • Help, Protection and Care

  • Transformation and Improvement


Nottinghamshire County Council’s Fostering Service sits within the      Commissioning and Resources Group which is led by a Group Manager. This Group Manager reports into the Service Director responsible for managing the Commissioning and Resources Group.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Fostering Service has clearly defined lines of management accountability and responsibility as described above, also demonstrated in the diagram below:

The Fostering Service Manager directly manages 4.5 Team Managers and 1 Fostering Panel Manager.  The fostering management team manages a workforce of;

  • 5 full time equivalent Supervising Social Workers (SSWs);

  • 4 full time equivalent Fostering Family Workers (FFWs);

  • 2 full time equivalent Practice Consultants

  • 1 full time equivalent Training co-ordinator

  • 5 full time equivalent Fostering Support Officers

  • 1 Snr Fostering Support Officer

Fostering Service staff can work flexibly across various Council locations but are primarily based at three sites across the County. They are responsible for providing county-wide resources for Foster Carers working on behalf of the Local Authority. All staff are appropriately qualified and are experienced in working with children, young people and Foster Carers in a statutory setting.

The Fostering Service’s Vision is to deliver a therapeutic Fostering Service which is at the heart of placement provision at NCC, which ensures all looked after children can be matched to the right family to meet their needs, and that provides the best possible outcomes for both children and carers.


Delivering the Vision


To enable and support the delivery of this vision the Fostering Service provides a range of support and services to Foster Carers, foster children and birth families. The service aims to provide quality foster care placements, in which the individuality of the child is celebrated, diversity is valued, and equality is promoted.

The Fostering Service always seeks to continuously improve upon the delivery of placement choice for all children, and in its ability to meet a child’s individual needs in respect of race, culture, religion, disability and language.

The Fostering Service expects its Foster Carers to provide a high standard of physical, moral and emotional care, in which a child’s educational achievements, health care, and social and sexual development is positively supported and encouraged.

All Foster Carers are expected to work in partnership with other service providers, to ensure children and young people are supported in reaching their potential.

Every Foster Carer is subject to a comprehensive initial assessment, including checks via the Disclosure and Barring Service and personal and employer reference checks. Foster Carers are then subject to monthly supervision, annual reviews, and annual health and safety checks.

The key directive of the service is to provide safe, stable and secure family environments in which children can develop and be supported to maximise their potential.

The Fostering Service provides several different types of foster placements dependent on the needs of the child. Some children will require a more therapeutic parenting approach; some will require specialist skills to provide for specific disabilities, and others will provide short-term support care to give full-time carers, their foster children, and their birth families a short break. In addition, we also support family and friends who are looking after fostered children.

As of August 2023, we have 203 fostering households, of which 138 are mainstream foster carers, 47 are support foster carers and 180 are Family and Friends foster carers.

In May 2023 the service developed as a countywide service incorporating the three former geographically defined fieldwork teams and our assessment teams. We are still assigning work as local to staff and foster carers as possible, and the arrangements allow for more equitable workloads for staff in the service. We are operating a countywide duty system with weekly meetings held with colleagues in the placements service for home-finding and matching children to foster carers.

The fostering service has a dedicated Recruitment and Assessment team which:

  • Manages all inquiries from prospective Foster Carers, responding within 24 working hours and arranging home visits within 2 working days

  • Conducts all prospective new carer assessments and training

  • Collates and analyses feedback from new carers as well as carers who are leaving us, in order to improve the service 

  • Alongside Corporate Communications colleagues, manages our media presence and looks at how we can use media more effectively to convey our message and attract potential carers

  • Maintains a ‘pipeline’ report to show carer numbers throughout the enquiry-to-first placement journey

Foster Carers are expected to complete at least 20 hours of training annually, to learn about different aspects of caring for children.

Within the first 12-18 months of being approved, foster carers are required to complete a portfolio that evidences their ability to meet the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSDS), which are the national standards and expectations for Foster Carers. For subsequent years, Foster Carers are also provided with a professional development plan to further their skills and knowledge of fostering and their ability to care for looked after children.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s fostering service is committed to learning and has an extensive training programme to promote the ongoing support and development of the fostering community, which includes a 3-year training pathway for foster carers, plus access to Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership training.

Training programmes are organised by dedicated training coordinators and are often facilitated by specialist training providers in different venues around the county. Courses are held over weekends, evenings as well as during the day and many times throughout the year to enable all Foster Carers to attend. A specialist learning platform called “My Learning, My Career” is also available to all Foster Carers so that they can book themselves onto training and access electronic courses too. The training is delivered in a combination of class-based sessions, virtually and in partnership with colleagues from Derby City, Derbyshire County Council and Nottingham City.

Each foster carer has a Supervising Social Worker who provides support, guidance, advice and monthly supervision meetings, as well as arranging access to other forms of support as appropriate. In addition, each household has access to:

  • Dedicated specialist Fostering Family Workers for therapeutic support;

  • An out-of-hours telephone support line;

  • An out-of-hours emergency duty team;

  • Carer involvement in local foster carer support groups, in quarterly Foster Carer Liaison and Advisory meetings (FLAG) and a Fostering News email bulletin which is distributed monthly

  • Registration with the Fostering Network, providing independent advice and mediation;

  • Weekly age-related (to the child) National Minimum Fostering Allowance plus a payment dependent on the skills and experience of the Foster Carer;

  • Additional (child-related) fostering allowances;

  • Ongoing professional development through the training and development programme

  • Local training, briefings and seminars;

  • The Fostering Annual Conference;

  • A complaints/compliments service;

  • Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS);

  • A Virtual Head-teacher/Corporate Parenting Consultant for advice, involvement and direction in respect of a child’s educational attainments and achievements;

  • A Youth Services Team to enable the development of leisure, sports and arts opportunities for looked after children;

  • Looked After Health Services, including drug use, teenage pregnancy, sexual health, alcohol/solvent abuse, diet and fitness;

  • Placement support meetings;

  • Large family transport allowances (where eligibility criteria is met);

  • The consideration to the provision of grants/secured loans in respect of adaptations to the carer’s property (where the eligibility criteria are met/ budget capacity available).

In addition, a peer-to-peer support hub model is facilitated by SSWs and FFWS which will bring foster carers together to provide additional advice, support and experience.

The fostering service is internally regulated by policies and procedures. These are produced in electronic form and are kept up to date with legislation and relevant guidance and are available and accessible by all staff.

Foster Carers have access to a fostering information pack which provides them with all of the information they need when they are considering fostering. Following approval, they have access to information on the fostering website which includes the foster carer handbook.

Note that the numbers shown depict headcount rather than full-time equivalent