Why choose Parallel Parents?
We are proud of Parallel Parents and our hero foster carers are too!
There are lots of reasons why we believe we’re the best agency to foster with, but here are a few. Click on the titles to expand them for more information.
Receive £350 - £500 per week, per child you look after
- We give our foster carers generous allowances because we recognise the physical, mental and financial demands that children and young people can be, and want to reward our carers for their hard work.
- The allowances our foster carers receive increase with the number of children they look after, their experience, and the individual needs of they care for. Allowances start at £350 per week per child, which is normally tax-free and doesn’t usually affect any benefits you already claim.
- Extra financial support is also given where necessary to ensure children and young people are well cared for.
24/7 support from your social worker
- Our support team is on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to offer practical help and support to foster carers.
- We put the needs of our foster carers at the same level as the young people they care for because we know they come across challenging situations and can have difficult decisions to make. Having this level of support provides the much needed security and stability required by children and young people, as well as their foster carers.
- All foster carers are allocated a local qualified social worker when they are approved. Along with their support worker, social workers visit foster carers every three weeks, or more when carers are newly approved or need extra support. As well as these home visits, social workers speak to their carers every week and are available 24 / 7 if extra support is needed.
Paid holidays & breaks
- Our foster carers are given 14 paid respite days so that they can have some breathing space if they feel they need a break or so that they can spend some quality time with their family.
- Wherever possible we vet and train the extended family and friends of our foster carers so that if they want to have a break or an evening out their foster children can stay in their own home whilst being looked after by someone in their extended network. We feel this helps to promote ‘normal family life’ and provides a stability for foster children whilst giving carers the opportunity to have a break or an evening out. We recognise that this isn’t always possible and so we have many experienced foster carers who are happy to provide short respite breaks.
- We train our foster carers before they are approved to help prepare them practically for becoming foster carers. This is usually carried out in small groups so is also a good opportunity to get to know other people who are becoming foster carers.
- Training is also provided by Training 2 Care which is our own City & Guilds accredited training centre for foster carers once they have been approved on subjects such as behaviour management, attachment training, life story work, internet safety, therapeutic approaches, first aid, preparing for independence and much more. The amount of training you receive directly affects the allowance you receive for each child placed with yourselves. The better carer you become the more you can earn.
- Training can also be tailored to suit particular the interests and requirements of our foster carers depending on the type of children they look after and their individual needs.
- Professional and transferable qualifications are available such as social work degrees (subject to business need).
Additional specialist support
- counselling and psychotherapy
- art therapy
- play therapy
- education support workers
- British sign language signers
- input from fostering resource centres (see below)
Career development opportunities
- We invest in our foster carers and give opportunities for them to develop their careers. Some of our foster carers have specialised in areas such as therapy, social work, and support work.
- Parallel Parents has been awarded Investors in People Gold in recognition of the career development opportunities they give to all their staff and carers.
Fostering resource centres
- Parallel Parents have links to fostering resources centres run by their partner organisation, Care Today. These centres are designed to be a transitional link between residential and family-based settings so offer support to more challenging and complex fostering placements experiencing difficulties adjusting to family living.
- Fostering resource centres offer a variety of intervention strategies such as outreach work to meet the specific needs of the young person, residential respite and bridging placements to support placement stability, and family intervention work.
- These resource centres are invaluable in providing stability to placements and preventing them from breaking down.
Consultation days & fun events
- We are always looking for ways to develop and improve our services and really value input and feedback from our foster carers and foster children. That’s why we have regional consultation days where we meet with everyone involved in fostering. We also run summer fun days, Christmas parties, and organise fun days out together.
- Our senior leadership team and registered manager are very hands-on and love to get involved with consultation and fun days, and make themselves available to foster carers and children alike.
The Fostering Network membership
- All our foster carers are given membership of an independent advice bureau, The Fostering Network, which is a national organisation sharing advice on all sorts of things related to fostering.
- The Fostering Network offer
- 24 hour helpline for counselling support and first aid advice
- Advice on tax, benefits, National Insurance and other legal matters
- Personal finance advice
- Online resources including forums and online learning support
- Discounts and offers exclusively for families who foster
- The Fostering Network magazine four times a year
- This is a really helpful and practical resource for foster carers.
Foster carer support group
- We also realise how valuable foster carers are in supporting and encouraging each other so we link our foster carers up together regionally. It can be really helpful for less experienced foster carers to learn from more experienced ones, and our foster carers say it’s like being part of a big family!
Specialised education support
- We have dedicated and experienced education co-ordinators who provide specialist support to foster carers so that they can help to promote the educational development and attainment of the children in their care.
- Our education co-ordinators provide
- support in gaining and maintaining school placements
- advice and support to carers about educational issues
- support with arranging individual tuition or further support to children and young people where necessary
- guidance on how to access alternative educational provisions and courses
Direct work with fostered children & young people
- Our social work team provide additional, enhanced support and structured activities in order to aid stability for placements and improve their quality where necessary and appropriate. This can include a variety of activities such as outreach work, days out with a support worker, supervised contact and life story work.
- Support is always needs-led and can be provided daily if necessary.
- Fun days, forums and seasonal parties are also organised on a regular basis, which provide an opportunity for consultation and support in an informal setting. This includes regular school holiday activity days for fostered children and children who are part of fostering households.
- We aim to put children and young people first at all times, which is why several of our foster carers have ‘staying put’ arrangements with young people aged 18+. We know that the move to independence can be daunting for many young people, so our foster carers and social work team remain on hand to provide ongoing support during and after the transition.
We believe the best way of finding out what Parallel Parents is like is by asking our foster carers. Here is what some of them have to say about fostering with us…
Parallel Parents is a very caring agency. It is not like being part of a corporate organisation; instead it is more like being part of a family.
I have realised my true potential and hope to achieve more in the future.
Our Supporting Social Worker is always available to offer help and support when needed. Our foster child always looks forward to seeing her and even tidies his room when he knows she is going to visit us!
Read more here.
Take the first step towards becoming
a foster carer today
Head Office: 2nd Floor Lansdowne House,
85 Buxton Road, Stockport, SK2 6LR
0800 023 4450
Parallel Parents is an independent fostering agency rated "outstanding" by Ofsted. We have over 20 years of experience and more than 200 foster carers looking after children and young people. We are a family run agency and believe that our child-focussed approach makes us really stand out from other agencies.