Fostering frequently asked questions

a laughing family walk down the road with one young boy having a piggy-back from mum and the other being swung by his arms
  • How can I enquire about Fostering in Derby?

    Call us direct on 01332 640880 and speak to a fostering social worker.

    Complete the fostering enquiry form and request a call back.

    Email us at fostering@derby.gov.uk

    Drop in to the Council House and ask for a member of the fostering team. The Council House is open Monday to Friday: 8.30am–5.00pm.

  • Can I become a foster carer if I am single?

    Yes. What is important is that you have the time and energy to give to a child or children in your care.

  • Can I become a foster carer if I am in a same sex relationship?

    Yes. You are eligible to become a foster carer whether you are married, in a Civil Partnership or simply in a settled relationship.

  • Would a medical condition or disability influence my fostering application?

    As long as you are fit and healthy enough to meet the demands of looking after a child then you can be considered for fostering.

    All potential foster carers are required to undertake a full medical check-up with their doctor to assess their health.

     

  • Can I foster if I smoke or vape?

    Yes, but the knowledge and awareness that we have about second hand smoke means that we are looking to place children in smoke/vape free homes wherever possible.

    If you are a smoker/vaper and want to become a foster carer, we will provide all the advice and support we can to help you quit or cut down your smoking/vaping.

    For further information please read our Guidance for foster carers and adoptive parents about smoking.

  • Can I foster if I already have children?

    Yes.  If you do already have children living with you, then we will need to include them in the assessment process. We know from talking to our existing foster carers how much their children contribute to the fostering household and benefit from sharing their home with children in care.

  • Can I foster if I am not currently working?

    Yes.  Your employment status does not affect your application to become a foster carer providing you can be available to attend a variety of meetings and cover school holidays.  What is important is that you have the time and energy to give to a child or children in your care.

  • Will having a criminal record prevent me from becoming a foster carer?

    Not necessarily. We assess each case individually and the only criminal convictions that prevent you fostering by law are those that relate to offences against children or other sexual offences. The most important thing is that you are honest with us from the start about any convictions you may have.

  • Can people who live in rented accommodation foster?

    Yes. You may need to inform your landlord before you begin the assessment process.

  • Do I need a spare bedroom?

    Yes, ideally, but children under 2 years old can share the main carer's bedroom. If you do not have a spare bedroom you could consider Fostering Link Leaflet.

    Approved foster carers are exempt from the 'under occupancy' rules on spare bedrooms.

  • Does fostering have an age limit?

    You can apply to be a Foster Carer in Derby if you are over 21. If you are aged 18 to 21 and are interested in fostering please still get in touch so that we can discuss it with you.

    There is no upper age limit as long as you are in good health.

  • Am I allowed to foster children from a different background to me?

    Yes. We look to place children into the care of people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

  • Can I choose the ages of the children I wish to foster?

    Yes and we would ensure that each child is well matched with their foster family.

  • Do foster carers receive financial support?

    Yes. You will receive a weekly allowance to support the cost of looking after a child. For more information about this please visit our financial support for foster carers page.

  • Do foster carers pay tax?

    Thanks to generous tax relief from HM Revenue and Customs, foster carers pay very little (if any) tax and National Insurance. As a member of the Fostering Network, you will have access to free tax advice and support. 

  • How long does it take to become a foster carer?

    We aim to get people through the process in about 4 months, but it can take up to 6 months depending on individual circumstances.

  • Can I transfer from another agency/local authority?

  • Can I contact my social worker outside office hours?

    Yes. We operate a 24 hour support and advice line, so you can get in touch anytime, day or night.

  • Do I receive training?

    Yes, we believe this is essential and part of your development as a foster carer. Before you’re approved as a carer, you’ll attend a preparation course designed to get you and your family ready to foster. After approval we offer a comprehensive training programme which allows you to develop your skills.

  • Will I get discounts on Council run leisure facilities?

    Yes. We offer a range of discount cards to approved foster carers.

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