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Islington’s scheme is a hugely rewarding role caring for young people up to 18 years old who have been through trauma and had adverse childhood experiences. We need energetic people who can provide a stable and supportive home with good listening and communicating skills to help build positive relationships with the young person and bring about long-term change. 

We aim to provide therapeutic or reparative parenting to these children and young people with our approach, based on the belief that trying to control people’s behaviour is ineffective; people change when they feel deeply understood, develop trust and start to believe different life opportunities are open to them. They need understanding adults to help them find words to make sense of their experience.

About young people in the Specialist Fostering scheme

Each young person placed in the scheme will present complex needs and may have trouble building relationships due to adverse childhood experiences. They will need your help to build trust and find that people do care about them. They will have experienced separation from their birth families and may have lived with several foster families or in residential care 

These adverse childhood experiences may impact on the young person’s self-esteem, and they will need your help to allow them to believe in themselves and work towards achieving their goals. Many of these young people may not be in education, training or employment and will need support and encouragement with their learning or training path. Most of all they will need you to listen and show you care. 

Placing too much emphases on education, training, or employment when a young person is struggling with inner turmoil can be counterproductive as it may leaving them with feelings of failure. It is therefore important to work with the network about the young person to build their confidence to enter this when they are ready. 

About you

You will ideally have experience of working with teenagers and an understanding of how past trauma can manifest itself in behaviours that others might find difficult. With your understanding, support and encouragement, young people can work through this. 

You must be available full time and while you do not have to live in the Islington area, we ask you live within an hour’s journey. This is to allow the young person to maintain their links with education, training, or employment.

Islington specialist foster carers work in partnership with other professionals. You will be actively involved with the team around you and benefit from a support package tailored specifically around the young person and you.

Specialist foster carers with Islington receive:

  • allowances of up to £865 per week 
  • retainers of £450 per week 
  • 24-hour specialist support
  • regular clinical consultations with a child and adolescent mental health specialist (CAMHS)
  • monthly specialist foster carer’s group supervision with other specialist foster carers
  • ongoing professional training to meet the children's individual needs 
  • a dedicated social worker providing fortnightly supervision.

Being a specialist foster carer can be a challenging role but also gives huge rewards. You will be giving positive experiences and life changing support that the young person will carry with them for the rest of their life. As a specialist foster carer you really will be changing lives and building futures.