Foster carer allowances

One of the many things that may be near the top of your list of concerns is the financial implications of being a foster carer. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly understandable and we’ll do all we can to ensure that money is never a barrier to a rewarding career in foster care.


How much are foster carers paid?

Each foster carer is paid according to their agency so there is no fixed amount that you may receive. The payment is different for each foster carer and depends on a number of things such as the type of care given and the number of children in your care. Payment generally comes in the form of a weekly allowance that will enable you to provide for your children in everything they require. This allowance is recommended by local authorities and is a generic fee that is the same for both short and long-term care.

Payments are made directly into your bank account because, at Fostering Solutions, we try to make it as easy as possible for you to focus on nurturing the child in your care. At Fostering Solutions we don’t want our carers to have to dip into their own pockets to take care of their child. Instead, we will take care of the payments so you can take care of your child. It’s as simple as that. If you would like to know exactly how much you could be paid according to your specific circumstance then please give our team a call and we would be happy to discuss it with you.


What do the payments cover?

The weekly payment is designed to cover the basic needs of the child or children in your care. It takes into account transport, clothing, food, personal and household items. The amount can change depending on the needs of the child. For example, if you are caring for a teenager or baby, whose needs exceed that of a typical child, they may require more money. There are also important tax allowances that you will be eligible for when becoming a foster carer.

As a foster carer your main focus should be to provide a safe and joyful home in which your child can live. You should not have to worry about the financial burden. That’s why the payments are designed to cover every expense you may encounter. If you have any questions regarding the payment amounts then please contact one of our dedicated support team.


Can fostering children be a full-time job?

Foster care is not a hobby or volunteer work but is instead recognised as a professional career. You are providing a child with a home and an opportunity to reach their full potential and so we aim to compensate you appropriately for this important service. Each foster carer is deemed to be providing support as like any other professional in the social work industry and so carers are paid a reasonable fee. As it is expected that you will be available full-time to care for your foster child, you are paid an amount equivalent to a full-time wage. At Fostering Solutions we recognise the need for good foster carers and therefore we aim to pay our carers a fee that reflects the great work they do.

It is often encouraged that as a foster carer you don’t also have a part-time job as the needs of the child in your care will often require your full attention. This is why foster care is considered to be a full-time job. For the different forms of foster care, the more available you are, the more work you are likely to receive. At Fostering Solutions we will always pay you for the great work you do. If you are considering becoming a foster carer but are worried about the financial side of things then you should give us a call as we would be happy to explain just how you will be paid.


How will fostering affect my finances?

We don’t know any foster carers who are motivated purely by money. It’s worth remembering that there are financial incentives to foster caring, which our experts can help you with.

There are many things that can affect your tax allowances such as the number of placements you have, whether you foster with your partner or if you have any additional income.

This is just a brief overview of how the finances work for foster carers. We are on hand to take you through everything in much more detail and provide all the information you need.


How much tax will I pay?

Fostering is classed as self-employment and there are generous tax allowances available to help. The important thing to remember is that each individual’s financial circumstances are different.

As a foster carer, you are given a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year, on top of your standard personal allowance of £11,500 which means you have a total fixed tax allowance of £21,500.

In addition you also receive;

  • £200 per week for child placements under the age of 11
  • £250 per week for child placements aged 11 or over

These payments are in addition to your tax free allowance. This isn't the fee you will be paid by Fostering Solutions.


An example explained

To give you an example, if you have two foster children under 11 and one foster child over 11 for all 52 weeks of the year you will receive the following tax-free allowances:

  • £11,500 standard UK allowance
  • £10,000 foster carer allowance
  • £20,800 for your two children under 11 (£200 x 52 weeks x 2 children)
  • £13,000 for your one child over 11 (£250 x 52 weeks x 1 child)

This means you would have a total of £55,300 tax-free allowance for the year.


What about existing benefits?

Fostering income is ignored when calculating eligibility to Income Support and Job Seeker Allowance.

Working Tax Credit is calculated on a household basis and foster carers can claim this even if they have children in placement.

To understand fully about how fostering will affect your benefits just give us a call and we will talk you through it.


Additional rewards with Fostering Solutions

All of our foster carers will automatically become members of FosterTalk, an independent company dedicated to supporting carers in the UK.

With your membership you will have access to foster carer helplines, have advice on tax returns and also over 4,500 discounts on high street goods and services.

Want to know more?


Inside your Fostering Guide...

  • Applying to be a foster carer
  • The different kinds of foster care
  • Support for our foster carers
  • Our training and development programmes
  • How fostering affects your finances

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