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Fostering handbook and resources

There are several vital pieces of information that you will need, and keep referring to, as a foster carer.

Foster carer handbook

The fostering handbook is a complete guide to fostering for Derbyshire.

It is vital that all foster carers are familiar with the guidance and policies contained in the handbook which is attached to this page.

It is the latest version and regular updates will be made to this to make sure that you have access to accurate up-to-date information.

Each fostering household is provided with a copy of the handbook. If you do not have the latest version please contact your supervising social worker.

Financial handbook

The financial handbook is an annually updated guide for foster carers.

It relates to all fees and allowances, including additional allowances concerned with looking after a child in care.

HMRC foster carer webinars

Foster carers can find out more about issues on tax returns, registering for self-employment, records keeping and more with new online webinars from HMRC.

The live webinars, aimed at existing and prospective carers, involve an online presentation lasting 30 minutes followed by a question and answer session.

There will be a variety of dates for the webinars so please check the latest information to find out when the next presentation will be.

You’ll be asked for your name and email address and will then be sent a link to join the webinar.

It can be accessed by computer, smart phone or tablet and it’s best to have headphones. Please make sure that you log in 10 to 15 minutes before the presentation.

Foster carer profile

As a foster carer you must have a profile which can be shared with any child where a match has been proposed. This is part of the requirements of the fostering standards.

You can find an example foster carer profile attached to this page and this should help you with ideas for your own.

You can make your profile as simple or detailed as you wish and if you need any help you can speak to your supervising social worker.

Once your profile has been completed your supervising social worker will add this to your fostering records.

Foster carer charter

Our foster carer charter sets out our commitment to foster carers and what we expect of them in return.

All Derbyshire foster carers are being asked to sign the charter to recognise the essential contribution made by foster carers.

You can find the full foster carer charter attached to this page.

Fostering skills allowance scheme

Many local authorities operate a tiered payment scheme, in addition to fostering allowances. This scheme allows foster carers to receive an additional fee, according to their skills, experience and the demands of their fostering career. We are implementing a new scheme to recognise these skills and encourage others to grow and develop as foster carers.

The fostering skills allowance will be paid weekly, to each household, in addition to the weekly fostered child allowance and will replace the annual review bonus, fostering plus and children first schemes.

Additional allowances including birthday, festivity, annual clothing and holidays will still be paid.

Foster carers who are available but without placements will be paid a retention payment at 50% of the skills allowance fee in between placements for a period of one to three months and 25% for four to six months.

The contract care and disability contract care schemes are not included in this scheme and will continue to have separate arrangements.

This scheme will:

  • give foster carers more control over the type of fostering and training they do
  • allow for better matching, with regards the child, or children, placed with them
  • give foster carers the means to assess whether a placement is appropriate for them when asked
  • give foster carers the means to assess whether the placements are within their band of experience and training
  • let carers build up a skill set that suits them, and their circumstances best