High Need

Interested in fostering, but have worries about giving up your current career and income?   
Do you have experience working with or supporting children and young people who have experienced abuse, trauma or have challenging behaviours?   
Are you in a position to ‘change a child’s story' by offering a High Need foster child a long term home?  
If so, then High Need fostering (offering around £45,000 annual income) could be the perfect career opportunity for you.  

These children have enriched my life, and that's the biggest thing that I can say about my fostering career.

Jane, Somerset Foster Carer

We believe that children deserve to experience family life and should live in a family home wherever possible. The high needs foster service provides enhanced wrap-around support, to children and foster carers, to provide an alternative or ‘step down’ from residential care.  

High Need foster carers provide long-term homes for Somerset’s most complex children, often aged between 12- 15 years old, providing them with a safe place to live with a nurturing foster family to support them through the difficulties they may have experienced.  

What is the Homes and Horizons High Need fostering service? 

Homes and Horizons High Needs fostering is a new service linked closely with residential children’s homes and a therapeutic school that is open 50 weeks a year. By working in partnership with Shaw Trust and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust we have developed a therapeutic wrap around package of support for children and carers.   


When you become a foster carer, you don't go into this by yourself, you're part of a team.

Geoff & Emma, Somerset Foster Carers

 Our offer to you....

This specialist fostering scheme offers carers a robust package of emotional and practical support, plus enhanced fees and allowances of roughly £45,000 a year. Carers will benefit from wrap around support, tailored to each child’s care plan, in addition to extensive, on-going training and development. 

  • Enhanced support and visits from your Supervising Social Worker, starting fortnightly, to provide support, advice and assistance to ensure that we are with you every step of the way   
  • On-going extensive specialist training, tailored to supporting you to provide therapeutic, trauma informed care 
  •  Regular support groups alongside other carers to provide mutual peer support   
  • Therapeutic support through regular clinical group supervision led by a clinical lead      
  • Support out of hours, and planned sleepovers/afterschool support for children with support carers    
  • Support from a senior social work assistant, or through the therapeutic school to provide additional support to children and carers 
  • Support for children during school holidays through the 50 week  school provision    
  • Regular placement reviews to ensure that children and carers are receiving the right support at the right time 


What we need from you....

High need fostering isn’t right for everyone, but may be a good option for individuals looking for a new ‘career’, as you would benefit from experience of caring or working with children or young people in a professional capacity including previous fostering experience – although what matters most is that you have the right qualities and skills. Above all, we need carers who are willing to help a child recover from the trauma they have experienced in their lives by parenting them in a therapeutic way. These children need high levels of empathy, compassion and understanding alongside consistent routines and boundaries. 
This is a demanding role, likely to be filled with challenges and obstacles alongside the achievements and rewards, but we’ll be with you every step of the way, with careful consideration given to matching the needs of both the carer and child. Carers will need to demonstrate key qualities such as resilience and determination, and high levels of empathy and compassion.  

Carers will also need to: 

  • Drive and have access to a car. 
  • Be available full time to foster once approved 
  • Be willing and available to attend all relevant meetings in relation to the child 
  • Be committed to ongoing training and development 
  • Demonstrate dedication, willingness and a commitment to care for children in line with the principles of therapeutic parenting.  
  • Work effectively and closely with all the important people in a young person’s life 

How do I apply or just find out more?

You're not committing to anything by getting in touch, but we would love to hear from anyone interested in High Need  fostering. To register your interest please contact our friendly Recruitment Team on 0800 587 9900 or email fosteringteam@somerset.gov.uk for an initial chat. 
Please be sure to mention High Need fostering when you contact us. 

We look forward to talking to you! 


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