Alternatives to fostering

There are alternative options to fostering with us such as supported lodgings and shared care. You'll also find information on private fostering arrangements.

Supported lodgings

The supported lodgings scheme provides a supportive home environment for young people over the age of 16 years. Young people move to supported lodgings from a variety of settings such as children’s homes, foster care and from placements outside Hertfordshire and will be in education, training or employment.

As a supported lodgings carer, a young person will stay in your home where you'll help them to develop key life skills, such as budgeting and cooking, to better prepare them to move on and live independently. With your commitment and guidance, you'll help them make a successful start in life.   

Support for carers

Supported lodgings carers are provided with:

  • an allowance that covers accommodation, food and utility costs
  • a named supervising social worker who will visit you regularly
  • access to training, development, support groups and social opportunities
  • rent contribution if the young person is over 18 years.

Shared care 

Shared carers are trained volunteers who've been assessed and checked to care for disabled children under the age of 18. They give parents a break by looking after their disabled child or young person for short periods of time.

Visits can be anything from a few hours a week after school, some time at the weekends and in the school holidays, or even a regular weekend stay. The time you give is flexible and can fit around your life and schedule.

As a shared carer, you can look after children in your own home or at the child's home. You can also take them out and spend time enjoying hobbies and activities that interest them.  

Support for shared carers

You'll attend a preparation course and will receive full training and support, be paid an allowance for expenses and will be covered by insurance.

You'll be assessed to find out about your interests and suitability before being introduced to the family. The needs of the child will be specifically matched to your skills and interests to ensure you build a good relationship and the child enjoys their short breaks away from their family.

Private fostering

Private fostering is when the parents of children under the age of 16, or 18 if they have a disability, make arrangements for someone else to care for their children for 28 days or longer.

Private foster carers can include:

  • other family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins
  • a step-parent who is not married to the parent of that child
  • friends

Parents or private foster carers need to notify us of any private fostering arrangements. We'll then allocate a social worker who will provide support and advice for you and the children you care for.

For more information see our private fostering guides and statement of purpose.

Contact us 

Call us for more information on:

0300 123 4043