Frequently Asked Questions

Fostering can sometimes be a frustrating subject and could have a ton of questions about the different aspects of fostering a child.

This page is here to address the most commonly asked questions we have gotten over the years, so that you can find out everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

GENERAL

A spare room is required unless you intend to care for a child between the ages of 0 – 24 months, who can share your own bedroom.

You can be employed and foster so long as you have the flexibility in your working arrangements to allow sufficient time to care for a child appropriately.

You do you not need to own your own home however you must have a secure long term tenancy for your home if you are renting.

Our minimum age for foster carers is 21 years of age, however there is no upper age limit so long as you can demonstrate that you are fit and healthy enough to foster a child.

You do not need to have had your own children however you must have had sufficient experience of caring for or working with children. We will make an assessment of how well your experience with children has equipped you to be a foster carer.

We are currently aiming to complete the assessment and approval process for fostering applicants within 4 months. However this is subject to your availability to complete the process and will be affected by the length of time that it takes for your references and statutory checks to be returned to us. The National Minimum Fostering Standards stipulate that the complete assessment and approval process should not take longer than 8 months from the time when you submit an application to foster.

It is possible to foster if you have a criminal record however certain types of offences will prevent you from being a carer e.g. offences against children, sexual offences and certain offences involving violence. Where other offences are concerned, including some violent offences, we will carry out an assessment of the risk that you might pose to children and make a decision on whether or not we could approve you to be a carer.

FOSTERING ALLOWANCE

Whether or not you need to pay tax will depend on your income from fostering after all of the fostering costs have been taken into account. The government has provided a formula for you to easily calculate your tax liability if you wish to use it or you can seek your own accountancy advice. The government has put generous tax allowances in place to support foster carers, however you are responsible for calculating and paying your own tax liability.

The fostering allowance covers all of the routine costs involved in caring for a child e.g. food, clothing, transport fares etc. An element of the allowance is designated as your reward for fostering and can be treated purely as income. Please contact us for further details.

There are a substantial range of benefits that you are allowed to claim while you foster however you should seek details concerning this from the Dwp.