Fostering Care Pay and Allowances
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 and payments as a reward for all your hard work.
Don’t let finances be the barrier in providing children and young people a happy, nurturing home. Our generous foster care pay helps to eliminate your money worries, leaving you free to focus on the things that matter – those precious family moments with the children and young people in your care.
Important things to remember about foster care pay allowance:
- You become self-employed, entitling you to significant tax relief
- On average, you could be earning approximately £435 per child, per week
- You could still be entitled to other benefits
Additional fostering payments and rewards
At FCA, our foster parents go above and beyond for children and young people every day and we believe we should do the same for them. That’s why along with a generous fostering allowance of on average, £435 per week, our foster parents will also receive:
- A summer and winter £250 bonus payment each year
- Up to 14 nights paid respite
- A special gift or experience for each fostering milestone you hit
- Annual events to recognise and support your role as a carer
- An additional appreciation bonus each year which rises in line with length of service with us
There is no single, set fostering fee. The exact amount of fostering allowance you receive will vary depending on the number of children you foster, the individual and complexities of each child or young person, the type of fostering you choose and the region where you live. We do have a foster allowance calculator, which gives you a rough estimate of how much you could get paid as a foster parent.
On top of this allowance, you’ll receive additional benefits including access to our rewards platform where you can take advantage of fantastic discounts, training and development, and a calendar packed full of exciting events to attend. As a foster parent, you will be classed as self-employed and earn a weekly payment for each child you look after. On average, our foster parents can receive approximately £420 per child, per week. On top of this allowance, you will receive access to our reward platform where you can take advantage of great discounts from popular high street retailers.
Loyalty bonuses and rewards
We don’t do things by halves. When you foster with FCA, you’ll 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 - along with our summer and winter bonuses, you’ll also receive an additional appreciation bonus each year rising in line with the years of service with us.
- Savings – not forgetting access to our rewards platform with hundreds of discounts and offers at all your favourite high street retailers.
We invest more to improve the lives of children
We are more than simply the allowance we give to our foster parents. We ensure we invest back into the services we offer to ensure the very best experiences and outcomes for the young people in our care. Whether that be fun local events, career fairs and workshops, or our biggest event of all: ‘The Big Sing Off’ choir competition which involves all of the regions throughout FCA. Not forgetting our dedicated Participation team who actively engage with our children and young people to ensure their voices are heard and responded to.
We know that money isn’t the motivation to foster, however ensuring you meet the needs to provide full-time care and support to children and young people may often mean leaving your previous job behind. We don’t specify what your fostering allowance has to cover, but it can be used to contribute to the general household expenses associated with welcoming a new family member, such as school meals and clothing.
Payments not just cover the day-to-day living expenses, but also could be used for all the fun days out and family adventures so you can provide unforgettable memories that light up a child’s life.
You will start to receive your fostering allowance as soon as a child or young person is 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, clothing, activities and everyday living whilst also including a professional fee which rewards our foster parents for all their hard work. When you foster with FCA you’ll have access to a wealth of training programmes that will enhance your fostering knowledge and equip you with all the skills you need to enrich a child’s life.
Exclusive Refer-a-Friend Scheme
As a member of the FCA family, you are ideally placed to recognise the skills and qualities needed to become a great foster parent. With our exclusive refer-a-friend scheme you can receive up to £3,000 for every family you recommend who becomes approved and completes 12 months of fostering.
"We've been made to feel very welcome and part of the team, not just a resource. That's why we decided to foster with Foster Care Associates."
To ensure foster parents are not unfairly taxed on their costs incurred through fostering, you could also be entitled to an income tax exemption up to a certain amount for your fostering.
You will be completing your own tax-return but when you foster with us, you'll get all the support you need and you’ll get the benefit of a free tax and accountancy helpline, and a discounted tax-return service to help you with your paperwork.
Thanks to Qualifying Tax Relief, as a self-employed foster parent you’ll still be eligible to claim most state benefits. You will still be entitled to claim child benefit for your own children and other children that are dependent on you. Exclusions will just apply to the children that you are now fostering as you are already receiving the fostering allowance for each child or young person in your care.
As a foster parent you are entitled to claim means tested benefits as your fostering allowance isn’t classed as income when calculating these benefits. Means tested benefits are called non-contributory benefits these include:
- Carers Allowance (fostering income is disregarded)
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based)
- Housing and Council Tax Benefit
There are also some other non-contributory benefits that are not means-tested, which include;
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Universal Credits and other forthcoming changes to the benefits system
Whether you’re eligible for benefits will depend on your personal circumstances. You’ll still be able to claim Child Tax Credit for your own children.
As a foster parent, you are eligible for National Insurance credits, which counts towards the basic and additional state pension. All you need to do is register for Class 2 National Insurance contributions. This would enable your entitlement to Basic State Pension, Bereavement Benefits, Maternity Allowance and contributory Employment and Support allowance.
At FCA we work very closely with local authorities to find suitable carers for children and ensure each foster parent is placed with the right child according to their needs.
As one of the country’s largest and most experienced independent fostering agencies, our foster allowance is often significantly higher than those of local authorities. Not only do we offer more financial rewards, but we offer dedicated training programmes and 24/7 support every step of the way.
Foster parents will receive a fostering allowance and fee per each child they foster. On average, our foster parents receive approximately £420 per child, per week. You will also receive additional tax relief for each foster child in your care.
The allowance per child depends on the following:
- The type of fostering
- The needs and challenges of each individual child
- The region in which you live
Are you thinking of transferring foster agencies?
Download the FCA’s guide to transferring foster agencies. Find out more on how to transfer to a different fostering agency and the process involved.
Can I Continue To Work While receiving Foster Care Allowance?
As meeting the complex needs of a foster child or young person may be a challenging role, we do ideally ask for at least one foster parent to be available for fostering on a full-time basis. In order to ensure the child in your care is being looked after in the best way possible, flexibility is required for day-to-day tasks such as the school run, school holidays, attending medical appointments on behalf of your foster child, and to attend any training or review meetings.
In some cases it is still possible for you to continue working on a part-time or flexible basis depending on your circumstances.
Do foster parents receive child benefits?
You can continue to claim child benefit for your own children and other children that live with you, however you can’t claim for children that you are fostering. As you are already receiving an allowance for each foster child or young person in your care.
Will I be paid in between fostering referrals?
We do not continue to pay fostering allowances in between foster referrals, however we always aim for you to have little time without a child or young person, should this be your wish.
Can I foster more than one child?
Yes, you can be approved to foster more than one child, it will depend on the number of spare bedrooms you have available. For example, if you live in a four bedroomed house and you have one birth child living at home, you could be approved to care for two children.
This could be siblings or in some cases, foster parents may care for children from two different families. However, this would be carefully planned and managed to ensure ongoing stability for the child or young person already in your care.
Speak to our team
Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, where here to talk.