foster children playing

Fostering Allowance

You make a difference, we make sure you have the financial support to match. Receive on average £25,340 per year of tax-free allowances for each child in your care

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Providing a safe, secure family home is the most important gift you can give a child. That’s why fostering offers one of the most rewarding vocations. Not only will you be helping to turn a child’s life around and make a real difference, but you’ll also receive competitive fostering allowances, with payments beginning from the moment a child or young person is placed in your care.
What’s more, because of the special tax rules, this allowance for foster carers is generally tax-free.

How much do foster parents get paid?

You’ll begin receiving your fostering allowance from the first payment date once you’ve begun caring for a child.

There is no single, set fostering fee. The exact amount of foster parent allowance depends on many factors, including; the number of children you foster, the ages of the child, the type of fostering you choose, and the region where you live. On average our foster parents receive £487 per week, per child.

Foster care pay examples  


Fosters a 4-year old. She receives £435.19 per week, tax-free.

Alex and Chris

Foster a 7-year old. They receive £445.20 per week, tax-free.


Fosters a 15-year-old. She receives £469.21 per week, tax-free

Ali and Simone

Foster two children, aged 5 and 8. They receive £890.40 per week, tax-free.

foster parent and foster child

Discover how fostering will affect your finances

Don’t let finances be the barrier to starting your fostering journey, discover our essential guide to allowances, tax, National Insurance and claiming benefits whilst fostering.

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How does foster care pay work?

You will start to receive your fostering allowance as soon as a child or young person is placed in your care, this will be a payment once every two weeks.

This is to cover the costs of looking after a child; such as food, clothes, entertainment and the opportunities that make a big difference. Your fostering allowance also includes your professional fee which rewards you for your hard work and dedication in your role as a foster parent.

We support you at every step and this includes making sure that you are fairly recompensed. Money matters, and that’s why we give you generous payments and allowances to help meet the costs of caring for a child and to recognise your professionalism and expertise.

What’s more, we regularly review the fees that we pay to foster families and make every effort to take into account the rising cost of living and the impact of inflation, as well as paying our existing bonuses and benefits.

Use our fostering allowance calculator to find out how much you could receive below.

Go to the finance calculator

Our benefits:

At FCA we acknowledge and value the work you do as foster parents. You go above and beyond for children and young people every day and we do the same for you. That is why we award two bonus payments each year of £250 in summer and £250 in winter. This is paid to every foster family that have been approved for more than 6 months with us.

We also offer our approved foster parents a thank you payment of £1,500 when someone you have referred becomes approved and another thank you payment of £1,500 after they have been fostering with us for a year.

Additional rewards:

We don’t do things by halves. When you foster with FCA, you’ll also be part of our STARS scheme, one of the most generous reward and loyalty schemes out there, designed to reward and recognise all the incredible work our foster parents do in changing the life of a child or young person in their care.

Our Stars scheme includes:

  • Shine - our monthly Time to Shine Awards recognise the amazing contribution our foster parents make within our community, with monthly prizes and recognition to say thank you for all their hard work.
  • Together - to celebrate your time as part of the FCA family, you’ll receive a gift or experience that’s personalised to you, with something you’ll really love for each fostering milestone you hit.
  • Appreciation - every year, local events across the whole of the UK are organised to say thank you to all of our foster parents, which can include lunch or afternoon tea – and there is always lots of cake! We also recognise the birth children of foster parents who play such an important role within the fostering family.
  • Reward - In addition to the summer and winter bonuses, we also offer an annual appreciation bonus from £150 up to £1,000 depending on the length of service with us.
  • Savings – We provide all of our foster parents with access to our rewards platform where you can take advantage of fantastic discounts across hundreds of high street names, online stores and supermarkets. Not only that, you can also save money on days out for all the family too. From London theatre tickets, theme park adventures to the National Trust, Ticketmaster or your local cinema, our discount scheme will help bring down the cost of family fun.
learn about foster pay

Fostering tax allowance

Key facts at a glance:

  • Foster parents are classed as self-employed and must return a complete self-assessment tax return each year
  • There may be a requirement to pay some tax, and every person’s situation is unique.


  • HMRC offers special tax relief, which means that most foster parents pay no tax at all

As a foster parent, you’ll receive an £18,140 tax exemption, plus additional tax relief for each child in placement, which generally makes your income from fostering completely tax-free.

Find out more

National Insurance, benefits and pensions

Most foster parents won’t need to pay National Insurance as their profit from fostering is likely under the threshold. However, you may still decide to pay Class 2 National Insurance voluntarily to secure your entitlement to state benefits in case you need to claim them in the future – this includes state retirement pension, employment and support allowance, and maternity allowance.

Income from fostering shouldn't affect means-tested benefits either as the fostering allowance isn’t counted towards income when working out the eligibility for benefits such as housing allowance, income support, child tax credit and more.

Find out more about National Insurance

Find out more about claiming benefits

Can I continue to work whilst fostering?

Fostering allows you to leave behind the constraints of the typical nine-to-five job. It offers a flexible and rewarding work/life balance that allows you to be based at home where you can care for your own children alongside any foster children – all whilst earning a generous fee.

Alongside making a lasting and positive impact on those who need it most, when you foster you’ll be starting on a brand new career path that pays well, offers career progression, and ongoing training.

Although we do have many foster parents who continue to work whilst fostering, it all depends on individual circumstances and whether you can meet the needs of a child in your care.

Having another job is feasible, but you need to be available as needed to provide a high level of care, and the child’s welfare, safety and needs should be front and centre.

Find out more about working and fostering

foster carer payments

Private fostering agency vs local authority allowance

Independent fostering agencies generally offer higher fostering allowances than local authorities, with each local authority setting their own foster care allowance.

Local authorities have Minimum Allowances guidelines for foster parents, which range from £132 - £231 per week, depending on where you’re based and the age of the child. At FCA we pay between £435 to £469, with additional benefits and bonuses on top. What’s more, we offer dedicated ongoing training programmes and 24/7 support every step of the way.

Use our fostering allowance calculator to find out how much you could receive below.

Go to the finance calculator

Need more information about foster care pay?

Download our finance guide to discover more on how fostering will affect your finances – including a guide to allowances, tax, National Insurance, and claiming benefits whilst fostering.

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, where here to talk.

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