Family Support and Placement Service

As part of Northumberland County Council's Children's Services Directorate, the Family Support & Placement Service is responsible for providing a variety of placements to children across the community.

The children in our care benefit from being able to live in a caring family environment, other than their own, either on a short or long term basis.

The Family Support & Placement Service houses three teams:

Foster Care
Family Support (Day Care)


The team recruits, assesses and trains prospective foster carers, as well as supporting & supervising approved foster carers.
We are currently looking to recruit people who live in or around Northumberland, to be foster carers for children of all ages.

The team recruits, assesses, trains & supports adoptive families. It has extensive experience of finding families for children who need permanent homes.
We are currently looking to recruit adoptive parents for Northumberland children aged between 4 to 8 years old, sibling groups and children with physical or learning difficulties.

FAMILY SUPPORT (Northumberland Sponsored Day Care Scheme)
The team recruits, assesses and trains prospective day carers, as well as supporting & supervising approved day carers.
The team provides family support services, which are intended to:

  • maintain children within their own homes, proactively removing the need for them to join the foster or residential care system
  • to support a child who is returning home after being in the care system
  • provide disabled children with stimulating opportunities
  • relieve the pressure of caring for parents or foster families

The service is currently recruiting for the different services:

Mainstream Day Care (Under 8s / Over 8s)
You will work within your own home & will be specially trained & approved to work within Northumberland Sponsored Day Care Scheme. In order to care for children under 8, applicants must be registered childminders. (Contact: Sure Start Northumberland Early Years & Child Care)

Family Aid Work
The Family Aid Worker visits families in their own homes, providing opportunities for the families to affect change. The work can include the developing of routines, safe caring strategies, financial guidance & the raising of home hygiene standards.

Task Centred Day Care
This is a way of supporting families & foster families of children with challenging behavioural issues, who may need more individual & structured activities than can be provided by their parents or foster carers. The Task Centred Day Carer offers the child a wide range of activities (e.g. bowling, museum visits, or walks on the beach)

We operate in the following areas:

  • Berwick Borough
  • Castle Morpeth Borough
  • Blyth Valley Borough
  • Alnwick District
  • Wansbeck District
  • Tynedale District

Where to go

Station Village
Northumberland County Council, Ashington Library
Kenilworth Road
NE63 8AA

Local Offer

Local Offer Description
  1. What does your service do?

What is the key purpose of your service and how does it contribute to better

outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and

disabilities and their families? What are the typical activities that you do?

Do you have any limitations on the amount of time your service will support

a child or young person? Do you provide any on-going support?

 Please refer to website. Services delivered are via assessed need and time limited.

 2. Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

 Where are your main locations and do you work across the whole local

authority area? Are there any differences in your offer in different parts of

the local authority area?

 County wide as detailed on website.

 3. Who does your service provide for?

 What types of need and age ranges do you cover? What are the eligibility

criteria to use your service?

 Service is inclusive, detailed on website and access is via assessment and need.

 4. How can I start using the service?

 I can make direct contact myself or would there need to be a referral from

someone else and if so, who? Do you charge for the service and if so, what

are the costs? Can I use my personal budget to pay for the service or to add

to the service? Are there any waiting lists and if so, how long are they?

 Referral is via a Locality Team or Disabled Children’s Team Social Worker. Payment can be made via the Direct Payments Scheme and individualised payments. There are in effect no waiting lists, following referral these are allocated asap, which could be immediately, however services are demand led and depends on the necessary and appropriate workers being available.

 5. How are decisions made about who can use your service?

 How are these decisions made and who makes them? How will I know the

reasons behind their decisions? How will you help me understand them?

 Referral is via a Locality Team or Disabled Children’s Team Social Worker who will assess need and refer accordingly.

 6. How do you communicate with service users and how are they

involved in decision making/planning?

 What are your usual methods of seeking the views of service users? Do you

use any specialist communication system eg signing? What leaflets and

information do you have? How does the service communicate with parent

carers whose first language is not English? How will I know how well my

child or young person is doing? Do you offer any parent training or learning


 Please also refer to website. Consultation with children, young people, parents, carers and providers via a number of mediums, including: direct consultation and service reviews, direct observation and quality assurance monitoring of providers, including feedback from those using the service during observation and QA. Parent Carer Professional Forum  (In it Together)

 7. Is your service fully accessible?

 Is the building fully wheelchair accessible? Have there been improvements

in the auditory and visual environment? Are there disabled changing and

toilet facilities? Do you have a changing places facility? What support is

there for a child with additional needs in general areas eg waiting rooms?

How will my child or young person be able to access all of the activities of

the service and how will you assist him or her to do so?

 Services provided are usually external to the main office site and delivered by external providers. The team conducts regular and on-going:  monitoring, observation and Quality Assurance to ensure that above are achieved. Providers that are not meeting the required expectations are given actions to remedy this.

 Some Supervised Contact sessions take place at the main office site and are fully accessible, along with disabled toilet and changing facilities.

  8. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with

SEND had or are having?

 This should include recent and future planned training and disability

awareness. Are there any specialist staff? Do any other services work closely

with yours?

 FST Staff, Support Carers and Providers have access to and access Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board Training, including: Awareness of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults, Safeguarding Disabled Children, Communicating with Disabled Children. It is a mandatory requirement that all parties complete Safeguarding Training every two years.

 Depending on the setting providers also access: Early Years Training Programme including SEN Toolkit. Providers undertake additional training, including specific training and qualification to meet the needs of individual children and young people. Providers also have access to Special Needs Coordinators.

 FST have a range of qualified staff in: Social Work, Early Years Education and Development, Childcare, Children with Disabilities along with specialist training and qualification in a wide range of areas, including: mental health, Makaton, PEKS, Rebound Therapy, Autism, Epilepsy.

 9. Who can I contact for further information?

 Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about

my child/young person? Who else has a role in my child’s/young person

support? Who can I talk to if I am worried? Who should I contact if I am

considering whether child/young person would benefit from the service?

 Locality Team or Disabled Children’s Team Social Worker





Contact Name
Locality Team /Disabled Children's Team
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
Primary (4-10 years)
Secondary (11-16 years)
Early Years (0-4 years)
SEN Provision Type

Last updated on: 13/11/2014

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Address: Northumberland County Council, Ashington Library  Kenilworth Road  Ashington 

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