Fostering in Darlington

Imagine making a difference to children’s lives in Darlington. Imagine giving them the care and guidance they may never have had. Imagine seeing them flourish at school or college, or in a job they feel passionate about. If you become a foster carer, you could make this a reality.

There are many ways to make a difference as a foster carer. Our team at TACT are here to answer any questions you may have, and to help you to decide if it is the right choice for you and your household. As we are charity, there is no pressure for you to apply if you change your mind.

Young people come into care for different reasons. Sometimes they are only in foster care for a relatively short period of time. This could be due to an illness in the family, or some conflict that requires the children to be removed until it is resolved. Sadly, some young people need to stay in care for longer periods due to neglect or abuse. TACT are recruiting foster carers in Darlington in order to provide care and guidance for these vulnerable young people.

You may think that you would need lots of childcare experience to become a foster carer, but this really isn’t the case. Some experience of working with children would be helpful, but full training would be provided. The initial criteria for becoming a foster carer in Darlington would be to have at least one spare bedroom, be aged over 21 and to be a full time resident of the UK. If this sounds like something YOU could do, you could join our Darlington Fostering team!

TACT North East foster carer Chris discusses below the support and guidance she has received from TACT, and how she felt ‘ready’ for her first fostering placement.

Why foster in Darlington with TACT?

TACT is the UK’s largest dedicated fostering charity – enabling us to provide care for children on a national level. We reinvest any surplus income into providing more support and training for foster carers interested in fostering.

As one of the leading fostering agencies in Darlington, we provide our foster parents with training and support that is local to them – to enable them to change young people’s lives. Because we reinvest surplus income, we can provide additional support over and above what is required of a fostering charity, such as a dedicated education service, health service and an online foster carer portal.

We’re more than just a fostering agency – we go above and beyond to look after our foster carers and the children they provide care for. Our TACT Connect service ensures that when children leave the care system, they have TACT’s support for life.

This is why 98% of our carers would recommend us to others thinking of fostering.

“We receive amazing support from TACT, especially from our supervising social worker. We settled on TACT as we liked their ethos.”

– Foster Carer (North East)

We cover a wide area around Darlington, including Firthmoor, Cockerton, Haughton Le Skerne, Blackwell – and many other areas in the region.

We have a great team of staff within the Darlington area. Richard Leech, our area manager for the area, has worked in children’s services for over 27 years, and is passionate about making a difference to children’s lives. He manages our great team of social workers in Yorkshire and the North East – ensuring that our team of foster parents are fully supported. Richard joined TACT in 2013. He left his previous fostering agency due to the ‘profit’ that was being made from vulnerable children.

This is Richard, he looks after our Darlington fostering team

“I’ve worked in children’s services for 27 years in a variety of roles. After becoming social work qualified, I worked in child protection for a number of years. Following this, I started working in fostering, initially for a private fostering agency. However, it didn’t sit right with me that someone was making a profit off these vulnerable children and so I moved to work for TACT in the charitable sector.”

– Richard Leech

We provide our foster carers in Darlington with full training, 24/7 support and a generous Darlington fostering allowance:

Darlington Fostering Allowance

Foster carers are highly skilled people, and our fees and allowances reflect this.

TACT receive funding from Darlington Borough Council in order to provide care for young people in the area. Part of this funding is allocated as a fostering allowance, and is paid to foster carers. The exact fostering fee you will receive will depend on the number of children you care for, their age – and any additional needs.

All foster carers in Darlington will receive additional payments for children’s birthdays, holidays and religious festivals. Additionally, we also pay long service awards and a Refer a Friend fee (if you recommend someone who then goes on to be an approved foster carer with us).

In terms of the weekly Darlington fostering allowance you could expect to receive when you have a young person placed with you, here are some examples:

These are examples of our Darlington fostering allowance


Full training

You don’t need any previous experience or training to become a foster carer. Our full training will ensure that you are fully prepared to care for children in your home. Our training is delivered both face-to-face and remotely.

When you first apply to be a foster carer with TACT, you will receive our initial training which is called Skills To Foster. It is delivered remotely, and will give you a good idea of what fostering entails as well as giving you a chance to ask any questions you may have. When you become an approved foster carer, you will be allocated a full training programme to further your skills – helping you care for, and make a difference to, more children and young people in Darlington and the surrounding areas.

We even provide specialist training in order to help you care for children with specific needs or requirements.

24/7 support

When you become an approved foster carer, you will be allocated your own Supervising Social Worker, who will be there to support you. Your Supervising Social Worker will have a manageable workload, so they will be able to dedicate more time to you. We also provide an out-of-hours support service, for full peace of mind. We ensure that we reinvest any surplus income into providing more support for our fostering families because the better we support you, the better you will be able to provide care to the most vulnerable of children.

This is what we provide:

  • Full 24/7 support. Your Supervising Social Worker will usually provide all the support you need, but our dedicated out-of-hours service will ensure that support is available to you 24/7.
  • Foster carer portal. Our online portal will connect you to our community of foster carers and will be a place to find information, advice, training and other resources to help you with your day-to-day life as a foster carer.
  • Education service. Providing support and advice to help ensure that the children in your care receive the best possible educational opportunities.
  • Health service. Our health service was established in order to provide young people in your care with ongoing physical and mental health monitoring.
  • Support groups. Our support groups operate in Darlington and the surrounding areas, ensuring you have a local outlet to meet other foster carers in your area, and even make new friends!
  • Support for young people. Our Children’s Resource Workers provide the children in your care with additional support, activities and events in Darlington.
  • Supporting your own children. We understand that your own children play an important role in the fostering household. As such, our Children Who Foster events provide your own children with an opportunity to socialise with other young people who make an amazing contribution to fostering.
  • Peer support. In some cases, peer-to-peer support may be available. These work by pairing newly approved foster carers with experienced TACT carers to provide another level of support.

Transferring to TACT

If you are already a foster carer in Darlington, and you are looking to transfer fostering agencies, we can provide a ‘fast track’ application process to ensure that the transfer to us is straightforward and stress-free.

If you have children already in placement, then the process will always start with the best interests of the child placed at the forefront. This is to ensure stability and consistency of care. We would work closely with you and your current agency or local authority to ensure that the child’s best interests come first.

If you are interested in finding out more about transferring to us, simply select ‘I am currently a foster carer’ on our form. We will then be able to talk you through the process in more detail.

A fostering charity that goes above and beyond…

  • Our foster carer perks include a number of exclusive memberships and special offers – many of which are available via our Foster Carer Portal.
  • Our TACT Connect service ensures that our care leavers continue to receive help, support and guidance even after they have officially left our care.
  • We advocate for young people, actively campaigning in order to instigate positive change within the care system.

Start your fostering journey in Darlington today, and change a child’s life. Simply fill in the form on this page to get started!