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Useful Information for Foster Carers

Please find below information that we thought would be useful to foster carers, particularly new carers.  If there is anything you would like us to add to this please let us know.

Annual Review (Foster carers) - All foster carers have an annual review which is a bit like an appraisal.  This usually happens in the 10th month to ensure that it happens within the year.  Every 3rd year we also go to panel again (as you do when you are approved).  You will be given paperwork to fill in ahead of your review and others involved will be asked to submit reports - support worker, social worker, IRO.

Delegated Authority - Children's social workers complete this to make it clear who is responsible for what regarding the child and what decisions foster carers can make.  This can include things like getting their hair cut, sleepovers, etc.

DLA - If you are caring for disabled children you may be able to claim Disabled Living Allowance.  This needs to be done in conjunction with social workers and you would need to be clear about what it was going to be spend on.  Sometimes an additional mobility payment will be given where transportation is difficult.



Emergency Duty Team (EDT):

Emergency Duty Team are the team that foster carers need to call out of hours.

Foster carers with spare beds are usually contacted at the end of the week to ask them whether they would be available to be on the Emergency Duty list for the weekend in case any children come in as an emergency.

Emergency Duty Team are the team that foster carers need to call out of hours.


As foster carers we have to complete various forms.

Log forms - Daily record of key details relating to each child.  A separate form needs to be completed for each child.

Family Time Expense Forms - These are completed around each family time- stating what the child was like before and after family time and also any comments from during - family time workers who supervise family time will usually let you know - they also keep a log.  This is important to record whether family time is impacting on the child/children.

General Mileage Expenses Forms: Forms need to be completed to claim these.

Self Employed/Self Assessment Tax - Foster carers are classed at self employed and need to complete self assessments.  On the links that there is a link the HMRC advice.

We also have forms to complete ahead of CLA reviews, CLA health reviews and our annual reviews.

Fostering Network - BMBC pay for membership of the Fostering Network for all carers.  There is a link to their site on the Links and Downloads tab.  Carers can log onto their website to gain full access to all areas of the site.  They also have an advice line.  The Network campaign at national level on issues concerning foster carers and is a powerful lobbyer to governments to make improvements and positive changes for foster carers in the UK.  

If you log onto the website you can view discounts that you can obtain through them and training courses that they offer.

Court Appointed Guardian - All children who are going through the court process are allocated a Guardian.  The Guardian represents the child's interests in court.

Holidays - There is zero tolerance about taking children out of school for holidays, we can only go away during school holidays.  You should make sure everyone is aware of your plans for holidays and that it fits in with whatever is happening with the child.  This can be difficult for short term foster carers as things can change quickly for them.

Incident Form - A form needs to be completed for any 'key event' that happens with a child in your care, eg an accident, medical emergency, etc.

IRO - Independent Reviewing Officer.  The IRO chairs LAC reviews and oversees the care of the children, ensuring that all professional are doing what they should be.

CLA Review - All children in care have regular review meetings to discuss progress, plans, etc.  All professionals involved in the care of them are invited to attend the meetings and have input.  It is important that foster carers attend these meeting.  Often birth parents are there if court proceedings are still ongoing.

CLA Health Review - All children in care have regular reviews to monitor their health.  The usually have one very soon after coming into care.  Birth parents, foster carers and social workers usually attend them and provide information.

Life Story Work - It is really important that we produce life story work for the children in our care.  This helps them to fill in gaps when they're older.  Training will be given but it should include a profile about your family for obvious reasons.  It's important that you keep this up to date for new placements.  It is useful for social workers to give them to children before they move in so that they have a bit of an idea what you look like, etc.  Life story work also includes details of birth family that is usually done by family support workers - often around contact.

Max Cards - Foster carers are provided with cards with give us discounts at some key attractions and activities, including Eureka, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, etc.  To obtain a card speak to your support worker.  You may need the card and your fostering ID card when you to to the venue.  Visit their website for details of offers.

Mentoring/Buddying - All new carers should be allocated a mentor/buddy - an experienced foster carer.  Carers going through something for the first time, eg an adoption, can also ask for a mentor to help them through the process.

Passports - Contact the CSW to arrange a passport for the child ASAP.

Payments to Foster Carers

Carers are classed as self employed.  We receive various payments.  It is really important that you keep accurate records for when you complete your self assessment tax form.

Age Related Child Allowance Payment - This is weekly amount that foster carers get paid for each child in placement.  The amount varies depending on the age of the child.

Skills Based Fee: - This is the weekly amount that foster carers get paid when they have a placement.  There are various levels based on skills.

Other payments:

  • Holiday payment - 2 weeks agree related child allowance is paid for each child in May to pay for cover the cost of holidays.

  • Xmas payment - One weeks age related child allowance is paid for each child early December to cover some of the cost of presents.

  • Birthday allowance - One weeks age related child allowance is paid in the month before the childs birthday to cover some of the cost of presents.

  • New placement allowances may be payable where equipment, clothing, bedding is required.  You would need to get agreement before purchasing via SSW / CSW.

  • Expenses including mileage - can be claimed - agreement should be sought from SSW / CSW in advance.

Placement File - You need to keep an up to date file for each child in placement.  This should include Placement Plan, Care Plan, Safer Care Plan, Delegated Authority, medical information, school information, review details, family time and log sheets.

Pledge - The Pledge to Children was updated in 2017 and all children in care should receive this.  A version of it can be found on our links page.

Support Groups - There are various monthly meetings where foster carers get together,usually with a support worker present.  This is a good opportunity to share information and receive updates.  These are held in different locations at different times of the day so most carers can hopefully make one of them.  Details can be found in Fostering News Letters and from your SSW.


Talk to Frank - This is a website that informs young people about the dangers and effects of drugs and substance taking.  It is also a site where carers and young people gain information and seek confidential advice and help.

Training - You can put yourself onto training via POD or via SSW.

Statement Matching - Contact your SSW for an initial setup.

Planned Statutory Visits & Unannounced Visits - You and your SSW's will arrange planned home visits usually every 4-6 weeks for you to discuss any current achievements, issues, training, plans or arrangements. This may be more frequent if determined by a particular need of a foster carer and / or children.

The child/ren's social worker (CSW) will arrange planned home visits with you. Independant reviewing officer, court appointed guardians, health visitors (for under 5's) and midwives (for babies) will also visit as necessary.

Unannounced visits are undertaken by an SSW and as best practice, take place every 6 month period. 


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