Foster Carer Pay
- How much do we pay our foster parents?
- What allowances do we offer to our foster carers?
- How does becoming a foster carer affect your tax payments, any existing benefits you might be on and your pension?
At Changing Futures Fostering, we understand the rewards that come with fostering a vulnerable child or young person. Still, we also understand that it is a big decision, especially when considering your livelihood and ability to pay your bills! Becoming a foster parent (many people call them foster carers), is a full-time job with many roles and responsibilities that will take up your time. Therefore, whilst it is possible to work and foster (in certain circumstances), it is rare, meaning it’s important that carers are paid enough to cover all of the costs involved, as well as existing costs! Ensuring our foster carers are paid enough is taken very seriously at Changing Futures, as we understand that to be able to effectively look after a foster child and provide them with everything they need, you also need to be able to look after yourself. This is why we have a generous financial package available, as well as allowances that take the strain off you and make sure you are fully equipped to meets the needs of the child or young person in your care! This is only a quick overview, though, so if you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of our fees and allowances, as well as how much you will receive post-tax, please feel free to visit our Fostering Fees and Allowances page.
How Much Do We Pay Our Foster Carers?
Our standard financial package looks a bit like this:
- £445.48 per child per week placed aged under 11
- £491.50 per child per week placed aged 11 or over
But what does this include? This figure includes the basic foster carer fee as well as the foster carer allowance and additional holiday payment. Broken down, it provides you with £445.48 – £491.50 per week per child placed, depending on the age of the foster child or young person in your care. This calculation deducts short break and holiday payments. If you don’t end up using your short break care, this is given to you as a lump sum at the end of the year. In 22/23, we offered our foster carers an extra 10.25% to reflect the increased pressures caused by the cost of living crisis.
What Allowances Do We Offer To Our Foster Carers?
Regarding allowances, the two main ones we offer to our foster carers are:
- 18 Days Short Break Care – we all need a break sometimes, especially as fostering can be challenging at times, so this is in place to support you. (If not used, we will pay you back any outstanding.)
- Birthday and School Summer Holiday Payments – this amounts to between £560 and £620 a year for every child or young person placed in your care.
How Does Becoming A Foster Carer Affect Your Tax Payments, Any Existing Benefits You Might Be On And Your Pension?
- Tax – You will have to register as self-employed to avoid any penalties, but foster carers don’t usually have to pay any tax on their income. You are also able to claim Qualifying Care Relief, which is composed of a weekly and fostering household tax exemption.
- Benefits – You may be able to claim some benefits as a foster carer, but it may also affect some benefits you’re already on. This situation differs from person to person, so it’s best to check in with us, and we can discuss it with you! However, all fostering payments are disregarded as income, so becoming a foster carer shouldn’t impact your eligibility for universal credit.
- Pension – Foster carers earn class 2 or 4 national insurance credits, which will count towards your state pension. (A form is needed to be completed to claim these!) You can also still claim state and private pensions and continue fostering. This is particularly important as many foster parents are of pensionable age. You may also be entitled to National Insurance Credits, which count towards your state pension.
At Changing Futures Fostering, we’re all about providing our foster parents with the support they need to really make a difference in a vulnerable child’s life. If you need any more information on the financial support that we offer or about the fostering process in general, please click here to contact us. Or, please feel free to email us at email@example.com or give us a call on 01429 363 127 to speak to our brilliant fostering team!