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Training and development with Islington 

Being a local authority means we are able to offer free high quality training at our office in Islington. We have our own experienced training team that delivers a wide range of subjects, supported by other professionals all working under the same roof. The wide range of mandatory and ongoing additional training available helps you provide the best support for the child or young person and also continually builds your skills. Also, being a member of the North London Fostering and Permanence Consortium means we can offer more choice for carers through resource sharing.     

We support all our foster carers with: 

  • an in-depth training and development program 
  • a dedicated social worker 
  • access to regular peer and social worker support groups and meetings 
  • out-of-hours support from our team. 

Islington offers a range of great training both before approval and ongoing once you are a foster carer.  

Skills to Foster preparation course

This course is the first training you will experience with Islington and is part of the pre-approval process. It is mandatory training that all prospective foster carers across the UK need to do. It takes place over four days and provides insight and information through discussion, presentations and exercises backed up with real experiences from foster carers and care leavers. We deliver this course with our recruitment team alongside experienced foster carers and together we explore different elements of fostering including the role of carers, child development, the impact of trauma and the importance of family time for children with their birth family. 

There are no tests, and you do not need to remember everything. It is a fun, interactive way for you and other applicants to learn the basics and reflect on your own understanding of the role.

Mandatory foster carer training

There are certain training courses that are compulsory for all foster carers across the UK to complete, either during assessment or within their first year of fostering. These will include learning about Islington’s model of therapeutic parenting and trauma-informed practice, safeguarding, record-keeping, supporting children in education, being healthy and understanding behaviour.

Additional and targeted specialist training

As well as mandatory training, Islington runs a wide range of specific targeted training throughout the year. You will work with your social worker to identify training you feel you would like to do to build up your skills and experience. These may include things such as autism awareness, paediatric first aid, ADHD, attachment, self-harm, or moving children on to adoption. 

We also run targeted training for specific foster carers such as those that are specialist foster carers or those looking after children with disabilities in the Family Based Short Breaks scheme.


Being a foster carer with Islington means you are part of a team with support from a wide range of fellow professionals. You are never alone as an Islington foster carer. Support comes from both the service and fellow experienced foster carers.

Dedicated social worker

Every foster carer will have their own dedicated social worker they will work with. They offer day-to-day advice, support and guidance and will regularly visit you at home.

24/7 duty 

We know not all issues arise conveniently between 9am and 5pm, so a duty team run by social workers and managers in the fostering service are available to all Islington foster carers round the clock, 365 days a year to offer advice and support.

Regular support groups

The service runs monthly support sessions across all the schemes and age groups for you to meet with other foster carers including specific baby carers, male, teenage and supportive lodgings groups. These are run by social workers and are a great opportunity to learn and share experiences.

Islington Foster Carers Association (IFCA)

IFCA has been established for over 20 years and is run by foster carers for foster carers. Once approved you automatically become a member. They are a great source of support and advice. IFCA have their own meeting room, run weekly drop-in coffee mornings, and arrange subsidised trips. 

Circles of support

A support model with one foster family, acting as a central carer offering planned and emergency respite, advice, training and support to a group of fostering families. Relationships are central to the programme and promotes strong relationships empowering families to support each other, increase protective factors and manage complex behaviours.


Generous fees and allowances 

Finance is not the reason people foster but we are aware how important money is to our modern lives, so Islington provides competitive allowances for all foster carers. If you are moving from an agency to our fostering service at Islington, we either give more than independent fostering agencies or will match your current rate for an Islington child.

Retainer payments

To help in any gap there may be between placements we offer a retainer allowance for professional foster carers for 12 weeks. This payment is available for professional foster carers available to foster a wide range of children and support other foster carers. This payment is for services as a foster carer and if you are available for a child. 

Council tax bill waiver 

If you are an islington resident the service will pay your council tax bill.

Recommend a friend reward scheme

We offer a £1500 thank you payment scheme if you refer a friend or family member that goes on to be successfully approved as an Islington foster carer. 

Fostering Network membership

All Islington carers receive free membership to The Fostering Network, the UK's leading fostering charity. They support foster carers to transform children’s lives and work with fostering services to develop and share best practice. Membership gives you discounts on legal expenses, mortgages, holidays and family days out and much more.

Foster Carer ID card

All foster carers receive an ID card that not only gives them access to the secure fostering service building but also helps them to evidence their status for benefits like extended library privileges.