Intensive Support Fostering Scheme

South Eastern Trust

We are seeking to recruit 5 new foster carers for our Intensive Support Fostering Scheme


Do you have experience of parenting teenagers? 

Have you cared for adolescents?

Would you be interested in becoming a fee paid foster carer?

Click here to view our informational leaflet


About the scheme
The Intensive Support Fostering Scheme is a small specialist fostering scheme that was developed in 2007 to provide long term foster care for 12 young people aged 12 – 18. These young people have had traumatic childhood experiences and consequently their behaviour can sometimes be difficult as they try to make sense of their history.

The scheme aims to increase the social skills, self maintenance skills and educational competence of these young people.

They need to live in a nurturing family environment with foster carers who have the knowledge, understanding and skills to care for and support them unconditionally until they can either return home in the future or are ready to live independently.

Meet the Team

Intensive Support Fostering Team

The team from left to right: (Back row) Franz Kavanagh, ISF Social Worker; Agnes Gould, Team Secretary; Nadine Kirk, ISF Senior Social Worker; Dr Kerry Sweeney, ISF Clinical Psychologist; Jonny Watson, ISF Social Worker. (Middle row) Roberta Mills and Karen Boyd, Youth Workers Extern. (Front row) Pamela Fisher, ISF Foster Carer and Gillian Thompson, Manager Extern.

We work in partnership with Extern, a charity that provides high quality, innovative and community based services for people who have complex needs. The Intensive Support Scheme is staffed by a multi profession team which includes access to a clinical psychologist, teacher, social worker and Extern Project workers.

Who can apply?
To be considered as a foster carer in this scheme you need to demonstrate your abilities and experience in four key areas:

  1. Caring for young people and a basic understanding of child development
  2. Providing a safe and caring environment which limits the risks some young people take
  3. Working as part of a team
  4. Commitment to your own personal development and the development of your skills and understanding in relation to the young person you are caring for.

If you apply as a couple one of you must be at home on a full time basis.

We will offer you:

A salary of £18,000 per annum plus additional maintenance which covers the day to day cost of caring for a young person

  • Travel expenses
  • Regular contact from your support social worker via telephone and home visits
  • Out of hours support when social work office is closed (includes evenings, weekends and bank holidays)
  • Support as required from other members of the professional team
  • 14 days paid holidays per year. Additional nights can be agreed in certain circumstances
  • Respite dependent on the needs of the young person
  • Membership of Fostering Network, a leading UK charity who work alongside all those involved in delivering fostering services
  • Insurance cover provided by Fostering Network and paid for by the Trust.

There is an expectation that our foster carers avail of the comprehensive training programme which is offered. This includes opportunities for your own personal development as well as training that is specific to the young person you are caring for.

Training is delivered in a number of ways e.g. group setting, individual training, and online training. Your support social worker will advise you of all training that is available and will source specific training that you may require. This training will offer you the opportunity to develop skills and abilities which are transferable to other areas of future work.

Support groups for foster carers
Foster carers can attend bi monthly support groups to meet with other carers doing the same job. Sharing experiences can be a valuable form of peer support.

Outcomes for the young people
Over the past five years, 23 young people have benefited from a fostering placement with the scheme. All young people currently in placement are in mainstream or an alternative education programme, where many of them were not attending school prior to entering the scheme.

Real life experiences
A young boy who was finding it difficult to live in residential care, was displaying difficult behaviours at home and in the community benefited immensely from his placement within the scheme. With the support of his carers and the scheme, he maintained his school placement, completed his GCSEs and did not engage in any further anti social behaviours. He developed a strong attachment to his carers and his relationship with his mother improved during this time. He returned to the care of his mother when he turned 18.

A young girl who had a history of self harm, made significant progress during her placement in Intensive Support Fostering. She developed a good relationship with her carers and was open and honest with them when feeling low. Her confidence improved and within the three months of being placed, she reported being a happier person.

Read about Jack’s experience of living with Intensive Support foster carers

Read about the experience of one of our Intensive Support foster carers

What now?
Specialist fostering as a career is demanding and will not suit everyone. However, if you think you could make a real difference to a young person’s life why not have a chat with us to find out more about Intensive Support fostering?

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions

Contact us
Please contact Nadine Kirk from the Intensive Support Fostering Scheme on:
Tel: (028) 90 817 807
or email: