Fostering in Dorset

In Dorset, there are many children and young people who desperately need safe and caring homes – because they are unable to live with their own families. Family conflict may be the reason for this, or even an illness. However, the most common reason why children come into care is because of neglect or abuse. TACT are recruiting foster carers in Dorset to provide safe and caring homes to these children, enabling them to rebuild their lives and move towards independence when they become young adults.

No previous childcare experience is required to start fostering in Dorset, as full and ongoing training will be provided. To start the application process, you just need at least one spare bedroom in your home, a caring and nurturing character – and lots of energy to provide a child with a secure and loving home. If this sounds like something that you could do, you could join our Fostering Dorset Team!

Why foster in Dorset 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 our team of foster carers.

TACT works closely with Dorset Council in order to ensure that young people are matched to the right TACT foster carer. We have a great team of carers in Dorset and surrounding areas, and we provide local training and support to our foster carers. 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 that provides key information, advice and resources.

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.

“After much research we decided to apply to foster through TACT based on the level of support it provided. We like that TACT’s focus is exclusively on the children and their carers.”

– TACT Foster Carer (South East)

We cover all the major areas in and around Dorset. Some examples of the areas we cover are: Dorchester, Wareham, Blandford, Swanage, Weymouth – and many more areas in the region.

We have a great team of staff within the Dorset area. Christine McGillvary, our area manager for the region, is truly passionate about making a difference to children’s lives. She manages our great team of social workers that cover the South Coast – ensuring that our team of foster parents are fully supported. Christine has over 19 years’ experience in fostering, specifically within the charitable sector.

This is Christine, she looks after our Fostering Dorset team



“I have always worked with children from 0-18 years in a variety of settings including the NHS, Local Authorities, and small Charitable organisations. TACT’s ethos is putting the child at the centre and that resonates with me – making TACT a charity I am proud to be a part of.”

– Christine McGillvary

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

Dorset Fostering Payments

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

Our funding in the area comes directly from Dorset Council. This funding is used to support our foster carers and the service that we provide. As part of our Fostering Dorset team, the total fostering fees and allowances that you receive will vary. The type of foster care you are provide, plus the number of children that you care for and their age will be important factors in determining the total fee. Also, the young people you care for may have some additional needs.

We also pay our Fostering Dorset team additional payments for children’s birthdays, holidays and religious festivals. In addition to your fostering allowance, 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).

Here are some examples of the weekly Fostering Dorset payments you could expect to receive when you have a young person placed with you:

These are our fees if you're thinking of fostering in Dorset


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 initial training is called Skills To Foster, and is taken within the foster carer assessment period. This training is delivered remotely, via video conferencing – so you can take part from the comfort of your home! You will then be allocated a full training programme to develop your skills. Some of this training may be face-to-face and local to you in Dorset. Any training you will receive will help you make a difference to more children and young people.

There will also be young people in Dorset with specific needs or requirements – so we also provide additional training, enabling you to change these children’s lives.

24/7 support

Reinvesting surplus income into providing more support for our Fostering Dorset team is essential. When you become a TACT foster carer, you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will provide most of your everyday support. Our social workers have manageable workloads, so that they are able to dedicate more time to you. At TACT, we also have an out-of-hours service where you can access help and guidance when you most need it.  The better our support, the most equipped you will be to change children’s lives.

This is a breakdown of the support we offer:

  • Full 24/7 support. Provided by your allocated Supervising Social Worker and our dedicated out-of-hours support service.
  • Foster carer portal. When you join our Fostering Dorset team, you will have access to our carer portal. Access information, advice, training and other resources to help you with your day-to-day life as a foster carer.
  • Education service. Providing advice and support 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 the children in your care with physical and mental health monitoring.
  • Support groups. Our support groups operate in Dorset and the surrounding areas. They provide foster carers with an opportunity to meet other carers in the area, share knowledge and experiences, and maybe even make some new friends!
  • Support for young people. We provide the children in your care with additional support, activities and events local to Dorset, via our Children’s Resource Workers.
  • Supporting your own children. If you have your own children, our Children Who Foster events in Dorset will provide your children with an opportunity to mix and socialise with other young people who make an amazing contribution to fostering.
  • Peer support. In some circumstances, peer-to-peer support may be available. These work by pairing newly approved foster carers in the Dorset area with experienced TACT carers to provide another level of support.

Transferring to TACT

We understand that there are a number of reasons why people who are already approved foster carers in Dorset may look to transfer from their current agency or local authority to TACT. If you are thinking of transferring, we can provide a ‘fast track’ application process to ensure that the transfer to us is straightforward and stress-free.

One of the questions we’re often asked is: can you transfer to us if you currently have children in placement? The answer is yes, you can – but the wellbeing of the child(ren) will always come first to ensure stability and consistency. We would work closely with you, and the local authority who is responsible for the children, to ensure that the process is handled sensitively and in the interests of the child.

To find out out about transferring to us, select ‘I am currently a foster carer’ on our form located on this page. 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 – some specific to the Dorset area. Many of these 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 Dorset today, and change a child’s life. Simply fill in the form on this page to get started!