Becoming a foster carer

Our foster carers look after children and young people from 0-18 years who have to live away from their birth families for a variety of reasons. Some of our children come to live with foster carers on a short term basis until plans can be made for them and others need to be part of a family on a permanent basis. Sometimes families just need a break to recover and we need respite carers who can help out.

Fostering in East Ayrshire means being part of a caring team around the child and our foster carers come from all walks of life:

  • you can be single, married or in a same sex relationship
  • you need to be at least 21 years of age
  • you can be employed or not
  • you can be a home owner or tenant
  • you need to have a spare room
  • you need to be committed to making a difference to a child’s life

All of our foster carers receive full training and support and are paid a weekly fee and allowance to cover the costs of being available to a child and providing a home for them. Any equipment required will also be provided. Foster carers are registered as self-employed and most will not pay tax on their income from fostering, and most benefits already received will not be affected by fostering.

Short-term fostering

Short term foster carers look after children from 0-18 years, at times where they cannot live with their birth families. This can be in a time of crisis for the family due perhaps to illness, substance misuse or sometimes children have been hurt or neglected and are placed with foster carers who can keep them safe.

The care team will support you in looking after the child/children and social workers will work with the birth family so that the child can return home. Sometimes this cannot happen and plans will be made for the child/children to remain in foster care on a permanent basis or go to an adoptive family.

Read some of our foster carers' stories.

Permanent fostering

Children can be placed with permanent foster carers who will care for them into adulthood as members of their own family but without taking on the full legal responsibility of parents. A care team continues to support the placement with foster carers having their own supervising social worker to provide advice and guidance.

Read about some of the children who are looking for permanent famillies. Please note the children's names have been changed to protect their identities:

Intensive fostering

Some children and young people have chaotic and disrupted early lives and may communicate their needs through challenging behaviour both at home and within the community.

Intensive foster carers provide one placement to a child at a time on a short-term basis. They work as part of a wraparound team including intensive support workers, social work, education and mental health services to provide intensive therapeutic care to enable the child or young person to move on to a longer term placement. These carers receive a higher rate of carer fee as an alternative to employment. East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership or education employees can take a career break to provide these placements. Please contact us on the details below to find out more.

Contact Information

Fostering and Adoption
Telephone: 0800 434 6633
Text 'info' to 80039
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