The Fostering Network helplines

At The Fostering Network, we use our expertise and influence to help make foster care better for every fostered child and foster family. Our helplines provide information and guidance on all issues affecting foster carers and fostering services.

During this time of uncertainty due to coronavirus, all our helplines will remain open as usual for any fostering-related queries, including those arising as a result of coronavirus. 

Don't forget that members can also make use of our stress support service and legal helpline. Details of our helplines are available below.

If you are a foster carer with concerns or queries about coronavirus and local practice (such as contact arrangements) or its impact on your fostering because of health then please contact your fostering service in the first instance as they know you, your family and the children in your care.

If you have immediate health concerns then you should contact the NHS.

Practice experts from across the UK staff our helplines. We can provide information on a wide range of issues including:
  • foster carer finances

  • allegations

  • delegated authority

  • safer caring

  • standards and legislation

  • education.

Members’ helpline – England

We are open from 10am - 3pm, Monday to Friday and Members of The Fostering Network can call us on 020 7401 9582.

We are operating a call back service during the coronavirus outbreak. Please leave us a message clearly and slowly stating your name and your telephone number. If you can repeat your name, that is really helpful.

We will always return your call and aim to do so within 24 hours, although it’s normally a lot quicker than that.

You can also email us

If you have recently used the Members' helpline, please consider leaving feedback by filling in our short survey.

Northern Ireland

We are open from 9.30am - 2pm Monday to Thursday and from 9.30am - 11.30am on Friday. Call us on 028 9070 5056.

Our advice and information service in Northern Ireland is independent and confidential and is complementary to the support provided by health and social care trusts and independent fostering providers. We also deliver finance workshops for foster carers and other professionals involved in fostering.

You can also  email us.

Fosterline Scotland

We are open from 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday. Call us on 0141 204 1400.

Evening calls with a Fosterline Scotland advisor are available by appointment. Please email to arrange. 

If you receive a recorded message it means we are on another call. Please leave your name and telephone number and we will aim to return your call as soon as we can. Outside of these hours, you can leave a message and an adviser will get back to you.

You can also email us.

Fosterline Wales

We are open from 9.30am - 12.30pm Monday to Friday. Call us on 0800 316 7664.

If you hear a recorded message during our opening hours it means we are on another call. Please leave your name and telephone number and we will return your call as soon as we can. You can also send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you would like us to call you back, please include a contact telephone number in your email.

Fosterline Wales have produced some factsheets for foster carers in Wales. These focus on issues ranging from allegations to pets to saying goodbye and can be found here.

Fosterline Wales is funded by the Welsh Government and offers a bilingual advice service. 

Legal helpline - UK

Foster carer members of The Fostering Network can access our 24-hour legal helpline for expert advice on allegations and help with any legal queries on 01384 885734.

Stress support service - UK

This service is available from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. From 7th February 2022, this service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Members of The Fostering Network can access a completely confidential stress support service on 01384 889 549.