Fostering in Sunderland

Fostering in Sunderland could mean changing the lives of young people in your care.

When you become a foster carer, you are providing children with a stable home where they can recover from any trauma, neglect or abuse they may have experienced. Imagine seeing them regain their confidence at school, or settling into a job that they enjoy? There are lots of ways to make a difference as there are different types of fostering that you could do. Our team of enquiry officers here at TACT will be able to advise you about the types of foster care that would best match your household.

The length of time a young person remains in foster care entirely depends on the reasons as to why they came into care in the first place. Instances of conflict or illness within the family could mean that children only need to be fostered for a short period of time before returning to their family home. Sadly, young people can require care for longer periods – and this can be due to neglect or abuse. TACT are recruiting foster carers in Sunderland in order to provide care and guidance for these vulnerable young people.

Your fostering journey in Sunderland can begin without any formal qualifications as full and ongoing training will be provided. We are a charity, so we reinvest surplus income into providing more training for our fostering households. Some experience of caring for children would be preferable – and you may have other additional skills that you could bring into fostering, such as caring for children with learning or physical disabilities. However, there are also some initial requirements to fulfil in order to start a fostering application. They are:

  • To have at least one spare bedroom in your home
  • To be aged 21 years or over
  • Be a full time resident of the UK

If this sounds like something YOU could do, you could join our Sunderland 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 Sunderland with TACT?

TACT is the UK’s largest dedicated fostering charity. 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 Sunderland, 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.

“After doing some research into other fostering agencies and charities, I came across TACT. The views of the CEO which were very child-centred reflected my own, while the fact that TACT is a charity was very important to me. I would not have transferred to a profit-based organisation, so I liked the fact that any money which TACT made was reinvested into their young people and foster families.”

– Foster Carer (North East)

We cover a wide area around Sunderland, including Sunniside, Millfield, Ashbrooke, Grangetown – and many other areas in the region.

We have a great team of staff within the Sunderland 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 Sunderland 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 Sunderland with full training, 24/7 support and a generous Sunderland fostering allowance:

Sunderland Fostering Allowance

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

If you join our Sunderland Fostering team, the total fostering allowance that you receive will vary based on a number of factors, including the type of foster care you are providing, the number of children that you care for and their age, as well as the complexity of their needs.

You will also 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 Sunderland 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 Sunderland 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 initial training is called Skills To Foster, and is taken within the foster carer assessment period. You are then allocated a full training programme to further your skills – helping you care for, and make a difference to, more children and young people.

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

24/7 support

We understand how important a high level of support is to our foster carers, which is why we reinvest surplus income into providing more support for our fostering families. Also, our Supervising Social Workers have manageable workloads, so that they are able to dedicate more time to you. After all, the better we support you, the better you will be able to provide the care and guidance required to change children’s lives.

This is what we provide:

  • Full 24/7 support. Your Supervising Social Worker will usually provide all the support you need, but we also have a dedicated out-of-hours support service for total peace of mind.
  • Foster carer portal. An online community of TACT foster carers and 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. Our specialist service provides 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 all over the country, and provide you with a local outlet to meet other carers in your area, share experiences and knowledge, 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.
  • 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 areas, 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

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

You can even transfer to us with children already in placement. In all situations, the wellbeing of the child will always come first, so ensuring stability and consistency continues for the child or young person is something we would work very closely with you on.

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