Fostering Allowances

Want to know how much fostering parents get paid? Our foster parents deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. That’s why we offer generous and competitive fostering allowances and payments.

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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 £400 per child, per week
  • You could still be entitled to other benefits

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How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

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 £400 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.

foster mother and daughter

When considering if you can foster, finance is an important factor. Our finance calculator is designed to help you.

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What do foster care payments cover?

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.

How does foster care pay work?

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.

Fostering Allowance Breakdown

We don’t specify what your allowance has to be used on, but it can be used to cover the following…

  • Food
  • Pocket money
  • Clothing
  • Days-out and holidays
  • School meals
  • Children’s celebrations including birthdays and Christmas

"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."

Tax and Foster Care Allowance

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.

When you become a foster parent, you are classed as self-employed and entitled to significant tax relief. Many foster parents pay no tax at all, but if you have more than one child or another job alongside fostering, you may need to pay tax.

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Your National Insurance Contribution and State pension 

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.

Private Foster Agency vs Local Authority 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.

Multi Child Allowances

Foster parents will receive a fostering allowance and fee per each child they foster. On average, our foster parents receive approximately £400 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

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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

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