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The best thing about being a foster carer is teaching young people that life isn't always unkind.

Karen - Foster Carer

Fostering allowance and payments


We understand the realities of fostering a child or young person. It has its ups and downs – whilst you are paid to foster and it is extremely rewarding, it also comes with its own emotional and financial cost. Fostering Solutions are here to help you understand both the costs and exactly what you will be paid to foster. We provide a generous allowance and carer payment structure for all our foster carers.

How much do I get paid for fostering?

The exact pay you receive depends on the type of foster care you wish to offer. Foster carers receive a payment for each foster child they care for, and each foster care payment is dependant on the child’s age and needs. Every child is different so each foster carers allowance reflects this. See below for some allowance examples for our foster carers.

What will my new employment status be?

Being a foster carer is recognised by the HMRC as self-employment. This status comes with its own tax benefits that can really make a difference to our carers lives.

Once approved as a foster carer, we encourage you to seek out advice from your local tax office. They can help you get the most out of your new status.

How does my foster carer pay work?

Foster care payments are actually split into two parts – the fostering maintenance allowance (what it costs to look after a child or young person) and your fostering fee (our recognition of the wonderful work you do).

The maintenance element of your fostering pay cover items such as;

  • food
  • clothing
  • toiletries
  • pocket money/savings
  • Christmas, birthday or other festival presents
  • leisure activities, including holidays and
  • transport costs

We know foster care isn’t exactly a 9-5 job, your reward element is all about what skills you have and the level of care your foster child requires. That’s why many foster carers who welcome teens, siblings or more challenging children into their homes receive higher foster pay allowances.

Your dedication and hard work is never forgotten, this allowance is our way of saying the biggest thank you possible.

Allowances examples

Payment varies for each placement depending on the needs of the child, age and whether they’re part of a sibling group. The examples below will give you an idea of how this works and the typical amounts available.

Tax relief is also available for foster carers, the qualifying amount is based on the initial £10,000. Following that the rate is £200 per week, per placement aged under 11, and £250 per week, per placement for children over 11.

Find out more about how this would work for you at: HMRC

All examples are for illustrative purposes only and are based on a 52 week placement.

Aimee and Kara are sisters aged 12 and 14 – as a sibling group their foster carers receive £703.04 per week for the length of the placement.

Over 52 weeks of the year = £36,558.08
Tax relief: £10,000 + £250 x 52 x 2 = £36,000
Therefore only £558.08 is taxable

Jay is an 8 year old boy with complex needs, his foster carers receive additional financial support due to his condition, a total of £460.88 per week for the length of the placement.

Over 52 weeks of the year = £23,965.76
Tax relief: £10,000 + £200 x 52 = £20,400
Therefore only £3,565.76 is taxable

Frankie is a 14 year old girl who has been living in a residential unit and has been placed with Step Down foster carers, during this transition placement Frankie and her foster carers will work to a programme of additional support and psychological consultation. Find out more about our Step Down service here.

Step Down carers receive the following weekly payments for the length of the placement:

£462 pw for weeks 1-3
£532 pw for weeks 4-41
£462 pw for week 42 onwards
Over 52 weeks of the year = £26,684
Tax relief: £10,000 + £250 x 52 = £23,000
Therefore only £3,684 is taxable


Are there any other incentives or benefits open to me?

From the comfort of being able to ‘work’ at home to the various financial incentives, there’s always something to keep our foster carers smiling.

  • That first placement can be a nervous time and the last thing we want is for financial worry to rock the boat. We give you £150 as a start-up payment to help you get ready to welcome your first foster child to your home.
  • To support our carers with subsequent placements we also provide a £75 new placement payment every time a new child joins your family.
  • We pay for all our carers to become members of Foster Talk – a wonderful hub of fostering advice, tips and resources. Get discounts on fun days out or chat to other carers, this is a space dedicated to you.

As your support system, Fostering Solutions aim to make your fostering experience a happy, successful one from day one.

Feel free to pick up the phone and speak to our expert team today, just call 0800 160 160 7, or enquire using the form at the top of the page.

Curious? Why not take our quick quiz and see if you could join our fostering family?

Alternatively, please follow our Becoming A Foster Parent step-by-step guide to see the assessment process in more detail.