Exemptions in England

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Registration as a foster carer usually limits the number of unrelated children who can be cared for at any one time to three.

An ‘exemption’ refers to the powers given to local authorities to exempt a foster carer in England from the requirement to register as a children’s home in order to care for more than three unrelated children.

The Fostering Network has produced a Practice Information Note on exemptions in England for members.

In general, any individual in England who wishes to be registered to care for four or more unrelated looked after children is required to register as a children’s home. Registration as a foster carer usually limits the number of unrelated children who can be cared for at any one time to three.

An ‘exemption’ refers to the powers given to local authorities under the Children Act 1989 to exempt a foster carer living within their area from the requirement to register as a children’s home, in order to care for four or more specific named children. Exemptions have to be applied for and agreed before a fostering agency can agree to any of their foster carers having more than three unrelated children placed.

The Fostering Network has produced a Practice Information Note on exemptions in England (2014) for our members. The purpose of this Practice Information Note is to review the legislation surrounding exemptions, outline the requirements of the regulations and statutory guidance and provide best practice recommendations.

Each service will decide on its policy and practice based on the needs of the children and young people in its care and its foster carer population. Our practice support team can provide additional support and guidance for member fostering services reviewing policy or practice.

Log in to read the Practice Information Note on exemptions in England.

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