What is fostering?

mum and two siblings all of west indian heritage Fostering is giving children and young people a family life when they are going through a difficult time in their lives.

Our foster carers are able to provide a secure and stable family environment for children and young people who cannot live with their birth parents.

Who can foster in Derby?

Anyone over the age of 21, there is no upper age limit.

We celebrate diversity and welcome foster carers from all backgrounds and cultures.

You can foster if you are single, gay, married, co-habiting, or already have a family.

Our fostering FAQs section may answer any further questions you may have.

Are there different types of fostering? 

Fostering is completely flexible and can be worked around your lifestyle.

Time-limited fostering

In this role you will care for a child for a short period of time while arrangements are being made with the birth family about the child’s long-term care. 

Some children return home while others may move to long-term foster carers or become adopted. 

Long-term fostering

Sometimes a child cannot return home and adoption is not possible. As a long-term foster carer you will provide children with a loving and stable home.

You will help build strong relationships and nurture development; preparing children for independence at age 18.

Respite fostering/ Short break care

This is when you look after a child at weekends, or set holidays, to give birth parents or other foster carers a break from providing full-time care. 

Short breaks for children with disabilities usually take place at the carers home. These can mean a tea-time visit after school or a full weekend at the carers’ home.

Private fostering

Some people do not realise they are private foster carers. It's when you make an informal arrangement with a family member or friend to care for a child that is not yours. It involves looking after a child for 28 days or more if they are under 16, or under 18 if they have a disability. 

The law requires parents and private foster carers to inform their local council if a formal or informal private fostering arrangement is in place. We have legal duty to safeguard the wellbeing of all children (The Children Regulations 2005, Private Arrangements for fostering).

How can I learn more about fostering?

You can find out if fostering is for you by completing our online fostering enquiry form.

You can also come along to our fostering information sessions which we hold regularly at the Council House but also in venues and events around the city.

On this page: