What are the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services?


The National Minimum Standards for fostering covers a comprehensive range of standards aimed at ensuring the welfare, safety and needs of foster children are at the heart of foster care.

The National Fostering Minimum Standards are designed to consider your foster child’s wishes and feelings and covers:

  • Developing a positive identity
  • Relationships
  • Safeguarding
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education
  • Preparation for adulthood

The standards additionally provide specific guidance within the fostering service itself, including:

  • Recruitment
  • Support
  • Training
  • Administration and management of fostering services

There are 31 standards in total, and they each outline the expected outcomes for children in foster care as well as the criteria fostering services and carers must meet to achieve these outcomes.

Who are the National Minimum Standards for?

The National Minimum Standards are designed with the child in mind; however, they are intended to be used by Fostering Services and Ofsted inspectors as well as providing a guide for foster carers, children in foster care and their families in order to understand the level of care that should be provided.

Standards 1-12: Supporting a child in foster care

Standards 1-12 of the National Minimum Standards for Fostering are centred around your foster child’s thoughts, feelings, and personal development. Foster carers should focus on these standards to support a child in foster care effectively.

The National Fostering Minimum Standards aim to support your foster child's emotional and social development while ensuring their safety and well-being. It also outlines the importance of supporting contact with your foster child’s family, if it is safe to do so.  Balancing the child’s need for safety and protection with the benefits of maintaining positive relationships with the child’s birth family and significant others.

The standards help children develop a sense of personal safety by providing a suitable physical environment. It advises that children over the age of three should have their own bedroom. This is to establish their privacy and own personal space to contribute to their growing need for independence.

Other important issues that are raised within the National Minimum Standards include supporting foster children with their education, and safeguarding and preparing older children for independence and adulthood.  

Standards 13-31: Fostering Services

The standards from 13-31 deal with the operational, management and regulatory aspects of fostering. This includes establishing expectations for fostering agencies, like us here at Capstone Foster Care, as well as local authorities and social workers.

The guidance outlines specific criteria for assessing foster carers, such as background checks, personal references, health checks and home environment to ensure that children in foster care are matched with a safe, loving, nurturing and supportive environment.

Based on the standard practices in foster care services outlined in the National Minimum Standards, foster carers typically need to undergo a range of training designed to prepare them for the challenges and responsibilities of fostering.

The standards also outline that foster carers should receive financial support as a maintenance allowance and as a professional fee, and this should be paid fairly and on time.

How can Capstone help?

Here at Capstone, we’re proud to go above and beyond the National Minimum Standards of fostering. We are also able to offer competitive rates for our fostering placements. As well as being here to offer you support at every step of your fostering journey.

Your training will begin with our “Skills to Foster” course which is designed to help you to develop the skills to meet the needs of children in care. And, while you’re fostering with us, you’ll also receive ongoing support, training and development to build skills and knowledge to meet the evolving needs of children in care.

Ready to begin fostering? Get in touch today or download a brochure to find out more.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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