Close Menu

What is Therapeutic Fostering?

Therapeutic fostering is sometimes called therapeutically-led care or TLC for short. National Fostering Group offers this specialised training for our foster carers.

Overview of therapeutic fostering

TLC is a response that recognises some foster children need to be looked after by foster carers who have a specific set of skills because they’ve experienced trauma and abuse at a young age.

Therapeutic fostering teaches foster carers to respond in the best possible way to individual children to enable them to feel safe and to grow.

In addition to all of the usual benefits of fostering, therapeutic fostering incorporates additional therapy for young people who have had an especially difficult start in life. The aim is to help them to feel safe and begin learning to trust adults again so they can recover.

Imagine working with some of the most vulnerable and traumatised children in society and helping to guide them gently back to a sense of trust and security through your compassionate and consistent care.

And imagine seeing those children begin to find their way in life and lay the foundations for an incredible future.

That is what our therapeutic foster carers help to achieve and we are so proud of them!

Wraparound support

We use the term “wraparound support” in relation to therapeutic fostering. This means that, when you become a foster carer for very vulnerable children, you will receive:

  • Intensive and ongoing support from our therapeutic support team
  • Specialist training
  • Weekly practice meetings
  • Enhanced allowances
  • Dedicated support from your supervising social worker.

Foster carers with our agencies NFA London and Heath Farm also use an innovative method of foster care using the Mockingbird Family Model.

All foster carers need to get on board with therapeutic fostering – it isn’t like caring for your own, and the fact that many foster children have experienced trauma is an additional factor.

For example, some things they do with their own children, they can’t do with a foster child because it might be a trigger for anxiety or trauma. Even simple things like rewards charts or time out might feel overwhelming or worrying to a child overcoming the effects of abuse or neglect.

But our training and levels of support give foster carers everything they need to do a great job.

Ella, supervising social worker

Are all foster carers suitable?

You need a special skillset and characteristics to become a therapeutic foster carer. Once you’ve qualified, you can talk to your supervising social worker about the possibility of assessment and training in this area.

Among these special skills are:

  • Unlimited patience
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Commitment to the therapeutic programme

Therapeutic fostering is demanding but the sense of purpose and achievement can be incredible. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer, we’d love to hear from you.

Join over 3,000 happy foster carers
Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.