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Hertfordshire County Council

Why foster with us?

Join our trusted, local authority Hertfordshire Fostering Service. Unlike other agencies, we are not-for-profit. Find out what you'll benefit from in the highly rewarding role of a Hertfordshire foster carer.

Training and support

When you choose to foster with us, you'll receive exceptional training and support right from the very start, with ongoing development throughout your role. We'll guide you every step of the way.




  • Preparation training to help you get started.
  • A personal development plan for your training and development needs.
  • Core training, including first aid and safeguarding.
  • Bespoke training for your ongoing development.
  • An annual review of your progress, training and development needs.
  • Local training - most courses are at our offices in Stevenage or Apsley, near Hemel Hempstead.
  • The government's training, support and development standards set out what you should learn in your first 12 to 18 months as a foster carer.
  • Virtual School Foster Carers Course


Local support

  • A dedicated social worker, providing regular monthly supervision.
  • An experienced foster carer buddy who'll offer additional support.
  • An induction pack to get you started.
  • Local events and support groups where you can meet other foster carers, share experiences and support each other.
  • A duty system to support you when your social worker is unavailable.
  • An out of hours support line and emergency safeguarding service, available 7 days a week.


Dawn and Alan Ashworth, foster carers."The support available from Hertfordshire County Council is superb. Whether you need help from your dedicated social worker or need support from external professionals, all concerns are dealt with promptly and sensitively."

Dawn and Alan Ashworth, foster carers.

Events and networks

We host fostering open events at locations across the county. If you're interested in fostering with us, come along and find out more about this life changing role.

You'll get a chance to meet other local foster carers, hear their real life experiences and ask questions.



About Foster East

Our fostering service is proud to be part of the Foster East network, a collaboration of 11 local councils in the East of England working together to make sure foster carers and the children they look after can thrive.

We are working together to ensure that anyone who is considering fostering for their council has access to the very best training and support as they complete the application process and become a foster carer. 

There are more than 7,000 children in care at any one time across the East of England.  We need your help to give these children the chance to thrive in a safe and caring family home.

By fostering with your council as part of Foster East, you will receive the very best, local training, and exceptional support from a dedicated team so you can foster with confidence.

Together we can make life better for children in care, by working together to keep them rooted in their local community near friends and family, and attending their usual school while they are being looked after.


The Fostering Network

As an approved foster carer, you'll become a member of The Fostering Network - a national organisation who offer:

  • advice and information
  • access to an online community
  • updates on events
  • regular magazines
  • discounts on publications  
  • helpline support.


New Family Social (LGBT network)

We're pleased to be a member of the New Family Social, a UK network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adoptive and foster families.

Register to access their forums and members' area.



Brian, a foster carer.

"In our local area, we spend a lot of time getting together with other Hertfordshire foster carers at support groups, training and social events. Fostering has been a great way to develop our social network and we enjoy spending time with like-minded people who want to help children."

Brian Rushton, foster carer





Get in touch

Call us on 0800 917 0925

Out of hours 5.30pm to 8pm and weekends 8am to 8pm - calls will be answered by the Foster East Hub who will be able to give advice on fostering for Hertfordshire County Council. 


Fostering - FosterEast

Information sharing

Foster East will share personal information only with the relevant partner organisation (Council/Local Authority) for the area you would like to foster in:

  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Luton Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Southend-on-sea City Council  
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Thurrock Council

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation, all participating local authorities are considered to be Data Controllers, in regard to the processing of personal data within Foster East. This is in recognition of the legal obligations for ensuring that personal information necessary for the Hub function, is processed and shared in accordance with data protection laws and related legislation.

Foster East will also share pseudonymised data with the Department of Education and Ofsted for reporting purposes. This means that we will replace information that could identify you with a 16 digit reference so that the DfE or OFTSED will not know who you are but your progression can be tracked without impacting on you.

How we store your information

Your information collected during initial Contact and Enquiry stages will be stored securely on a system called GOSS, this is the chosen platform governed by Norfolk County Council as the lead Local Authority for Foster East. All of your data is processed within the UK / European Economic Area.

Hertfordshire County Council are a Data Processor, acting as the data and performance lead for Foster East and will collect data about your fostering journey post Enquiry stage. The data will be pseudonymised and is collated to evidence fostering outcomes. The data will be securely submitted to Hertfordshire County Council by your Local Authority using an Excel CSV file and shared via our secure systems. The data provided will be collated and uploaded into the GOSS system for further processing by the Foster East team for reporting purposes.

The purpose of this process is to track the outcomes for each potential foster carer post Enquiry stage.

Each Local Authority will remain the data controller for the data they go on to process following the handover from the Foster East team to them. This can happen at different stages of the foster recruitment journey depending on your Local Authority. The Local Authority to whom you are referred to progress your application will have their own privacy notice that explains how they process your data.

Information will be retained by Foster East to allow for continuation of support by the Hub, for example, check in phone calls during the assessment process or offering exit interviews where an individual withdraws from the assessment process.

An example whereby this retention schedule will be utilised would be in the instance where a referral is made to a Local Authority which is deemed unviable due to information disclosed through either the Initial Visit, Application, Assessment or Approval stages of the assessment process which conflicts with local policy. This outcome will be returned to the Hub and captured for the purposes of reporting alongside the reason for not progressing. However, if the applicant would be a viable enquiring carer for another Local Authority in the Foster East partnership, whereby this policy of viability may differ, retaining information gathered will enable the Hub to recommend this enquirer to another Local Authority within the agreement.

Foster East uses DotDigital for marketing purposes. As such, your email address will be held on the DotDigital platform to enable us to send you email alerts and newsletters. You will receive messages from Foster East and may also receive messages from the Local Authority linked to where you want to foster. You will be given the opportunity to opt-in to this service when you register with us and you can unsubscribe at any time by following the links in each email that you receive, or by contacting us at

Foster East will only use your data to promote regional services, data will not be used to market any other goods or services outside of the partnership.

Automated Decisions

All the decisions we make about you involve human intervention.

How long we keep your information for

Data generated by Foster East will be held for the 3 years, and for up to 10 years if you are successful in your application to become a foster carer.

In the event of termination of Foster East as a regional Fostering Hub, each Authority may continue to hold information originating from other parties for which they are Data Controller in accordance with their individual or required retention period.

GOSS interactive will only hold data for as long as they are contracted to do so. At the end of the contract period GOSS will cease to use the data and return all data to Norfolk County Council as lead authority for Foster East.

The Local Authority your information is shared with will hold your information in line with their retention period and you can contact them to find out this information.

Your Rights

If you have any queries relating to the way Foster East processes your information, you can contact Foster East at

These queries may be regarding (but not limited to):

  • exercising your rights in relation to the following:
    • access to personal data
    • right to rectification
    • right to erasure (The right to be forgotten, unless there is a legal obligation to refuse this request)
    • right to restriction of processing
    • right to data portability
    • right to object to profiling

If you have any concerns about Foster East’s use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at

Or in writing to:

Foster East
County Hall
Martineau Lane

Contact Number: 01603 222444



You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 111

Your responsibility to inform us of any changes to your data

Please keep us informed of your personal information changes during your working relationship with us. You can do this by contacting us at or calling us anytime 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm on 01603 222 444.

Opt-out rights for Foster East marketing

If you wish to opt out of email marketing, please contact us on the details provided above.  You will also find an unsubscribe option at the bottom of all emails where you can choose to opt out at any time.

Read the Privacy Notice in full


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