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

It's 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, smartphone 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. 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 tiered payment schemes in addition to fostering allowances. This scheme means that foster carers can be paid an additional allowance according to their skills, experience and the demands of their fostering career.

There are 5 allowance bands, 4 of which involve a payment of a higher rate over and above the basic fostered child allowance. The fostering skills allowance is paid weekly to all foster carers when they have a child placed with them. It's paid to each household in addition to the weekly fostered child allowance, and other additional allowances which the carers are entitled to such as birthday, festivity and clothing allowances.

The scheme enables us to increase utilisation of more skilled and experienced foster carers. We are able to state our expectations of carers because it's linked to the band that they're at.

Foster carers who are available but without a placement, will be paid a retention payment when a placement ends at 50% of the fostering skills allowance payment for a period of 12 weeks or until they have another child placed with them.

The contract care schemes are not included in this scheme and have separate arrangements.

This scheme:

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