Toggle menu

Training and support


Caring for children is a demanding role. Regular, high-quality training supports carers and their family. Some training is mandatory and is part of payment for skills and other courses are available to foster carers to develop their skills further. You will have an individual development plan identifying specific training and development needs.

When you join us you'll complete a training, support and development standards document. These standards are a national benchmark giving you the recognition you deserve.

Foster carers who look after more challenging children need to complete extra training. This enables them to meet the demands and challenges of the children they care for. Some courses are in person and others online to complete in your own time. Our courses run throughout the year and cover the spectrum of needs of our children and young people.


Visit the Foster carer training page for information about our range of training opportunities.


You will have access to our support networks to ensure you get the help you need to foster with confidence. Ofsted commented in 2019 that Gateshead offers "good support from supervising social workers".

Our support includes:

  • a supervising social worker to support you meeting the needs of the children in your home along with identifying training needs.
  • communication between your supervising Social Worker and the child's Social Worker.
  • supervision meetings within your home, initially fortnightly then monthly minimum.

  • direct links to related council services including education and planning.
  • supervision meetings within your home, usually on a monthly.
  • support groups for sharing experiences and keeping up to date on relevant issues.
  • telephone support.
  • respite or short breaks for carers and their families to take time off when necessary.
  • therapeutic and psychological support for carers and children in care.
  • educational support based on strong links to all Gateshead schools.
  • a personal educational plan for all children.
  • independent advice, advocacy and mediation offering face-to-face support through Foster Talk (opens new window)

Our fostering community

Our community of people and networks are here to support you at every stage. Start your fostering story and transform a child's life. We value the difference that foster carers make to the lives of vulnerable children. We don't just tell you this we show you through:

  • rewards and recognition events.

  • a varied schedule of events including regular coffee mornings, a Christmas party and a summer fun day.

  • a monthly newsletter keeping you up to date with regular news and updates.

  • a referral scheme with rewards when your nominees become foster carers.

  • discounted admission to attractions and activities throughout the UK with my max card (opens new window) - enjoying experiences like this can be a great way to bond, have fun and make memories that last.
  • foster carers can apply for a Blue Light Card (opens new window) which will give discounts online and on the high street.

Benefits for Gateshead Council employees

We will support Council employees who apply to become a foster carer with us with time for training and time off following placements or for emergencies. To find out more speak to our Fostering Team on email: or call 0191 433 8333.