Fostering frequently asked questions and myths

Your questions answered

How does fostering affect my tax and/or benefits situation?

Tax exemption

There’s a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year (less if for a shorter period) which is shared equally among any foster carers in the same household. This means you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income you make from fostering.

Tax relief

On top of the £10,000 exemption, you also get tax relief of between £200-£250 per child for every week (or part week) that a child is in your care. This means you don’t have to pay tax on some of your earnings over £10,000. Read the government advice


Visit the government website to claim benefits while fostering.

Can foster children share a bedroom with other children?

Foster children must have their own bedrooms.The only time foster children are allowed to share a room is if they are same-sex siblings and if the carer is approved for this and has the space.We don't allow foster children to share a room with carers' own children and we would not be able to accept your children sharing with you or someone sleeping in the living room in order to 'free up' a bedroom for a foster child.However, if you are fostering a baby or child less than one year old, they can sometimes share your bedroom.

Do I have to have a childcare qualification?

You don’t need to have any formal qualifications to foster for Bromley, though we do ask that you have some experience of being around children.
All necessary training to support you in becoming a foster carer will be provided as part of your support package.

Will my spouse/partner also need to be assessed?

Yes, if you are living together you will both need to be assessed.

How long does it take to become an approved foster carer?

From the first time you contact us the process takes approximately six months and usually no longer than eight months.

Can I foster if I am a smoker?

Because of the effects of passive smoking we expect that a smoke-free environment will be provided for foster children.Those under 6 and those with breathing difficulties or health-related issues will not be placed with smokers. If friends and family carers who are smokers apply to look after the child of a relative or friend, we will have to balance the additional health risks to the child against the benefits of the placement. We would encourage and help all people who want to foster to give up smoking, not just for the impact on the child’s health but also for the model presented to children and the known impact of smoking.

Foster Carers Handbook

The handbook reflects policies, procedure and guidance for the fostering service which cover many common situations faced by foster carers on a day to day basis.
It has been written in an accessible way to help you understand the sort of things that your fostering service requires of you.It has been designed for new and existing foster carers and deals with the day to day practicalities you may face. Foster Carers Handbook.

Let's talk

Complete our contact form  to discover all there is to know about becoming a foster parent. We’ll give you a call, when’s it’s convenient for you, answer your questions, and go from there. Or if you’re free now, why not give us a call We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact fostering team

Address: Fostering Team, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Tel: 020 8461 7701