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How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

How much does a foster carer get paid? This is a common question everyone asks, read on to find exact figures on how much foster parents are paid.

Fostering a child can be a truly rewarding experience, enabling you to change a child or young person’s life for the better. But of course, choosing whether to foster is an important decision – and one of the common questions that gets asked is, how much do foster parents get paid? Find out whether foster care pay is enough to make fostering a viable career choice for your family now.

Fostering Allowance UK

So, how much do you get paid for fostering? Fostering a child who desperately needs your help not only has emotional rewards, but financial benefits, too. As a foster carer, there is rarely time away from the job – which is why a fostering allowance is provided in order to support you.

How much foster carers are paid per week depends on a number of factors. These factors can include:

  • Child’s needs - the needs of the child or young person in your care
  • Age - the age of your foster placement
  • Location - the geographical area you are fostering in.
  • Local authority or independent fostering agency - it can also depend on whether you are fostering with a local authority or an independent fostering agency – as the latter can often afford to pay its foster carers a larger weekly amount than local authorities can.

So, how much do foster carers get paid?

Here at Capstone Foster Care, as an independent agency, we offer competitive fostering rates for our fostering placements:

  • Therapeutic foster placements - approx. £500 - £575 per week
  • Parent and child placements - approx. £650 per week
  • Standard placements - approx. £400 per week
  • Respite placements - approx. £400 per week

It’s important to note that fostering allowances vary depending on the age and needs of the child.

This varies to the pay provided by Local Authorities. Broken down by age, the fostering allowance per region for local authorities is recommended as per the below (2021 – 2022):

London:

  • Age 0 – 2: £152
  • Age 3 – 4: £155
  • Age 5 – 10: £174
  • Age 11 – 15: £197
  • Age 16 – 17: £231

South East:

  • Age 0 – 2: £146
  • Age 3 – 4: £150
  • Age 5 – 10: £166
  • Age 11 – 15: £189
  • Age 16 – 17: £222

Rest of England:

  • Age 0 – 2: £132
  • Age 3 – 4: £135
  • Age 5 – 10: £149
  • Age 11 – 15: £170
  • Age 16 – 17: £198

However, it’s worth noting that as an independent fostering agency, we are able to offer more competitive rates of pay here at Capstone. To find out more about our fostering allowance, get in touch with our friendly team now.

Types of fostering pay

The demand for therapeutic fostering placements has grown over the last year and, as a result, Capstone Foster Care has introduced a programme to provide the extra training and resources required to carers to enable them to provide therapeutic placements. Fostering allowances for these placements is between £500 and £575. Most of our carers are able to offer this service. If you look after a child in a therapeutic placement for a whole year, your total income will be over £26,000 (and £23,000 of this will be tax-free).

The fostering allowance for parent and child placements is £650 per week and the demand for this service is always strong.

Total allowances for most of our standard placements including respite payments is around £400 per week, which would work out to be around £1,700 a month.

Foster Care Pay Scale – Broken Down

The weekly allowance paid to carers is made up of two parts:

  • Money to cover the costs of looking after a child - this can include household expenses, food, clothing, mileage, school meals and more
  • A reward to the carer for your time and skill - this is based on the age of the foster child, the type of fostering placement and whether or not this is specialist fostering.

There are standards set by the government that independent agencies, such as Capstone Foster Care, use as a guideline for the compensation paid to their foster carers. There is a minimum basic fostering allowance per child in care to cover the costs of looking after the child based on the child’s age and geographic location and this ranges from approximately £130 to £200 per week. As part of the weekly fostering pay, the allowance would cover general household expenses, mileage, food, school meals, pocket money and the child’s clothing.

The other part of the fostering allowance rewards you for the time and energy involved in providing the kind of home that gives the child a chance of a brighter future.

Do foster carers pay tax?

As well as the income, foster carers benefit from special tax rules. This means that in practice, a foster carer with one child during the year will pay no tax – and only small amounts of tax are paid by carers with more than one child in placement. However, it should be noted that as a foster carer, you will not be able to claim Child Benefit for a foster child or Child Tax Credit.

Once you are an approved foster parent and registered with the HMRC, you will be classed as self-employed – and will need to keep a record of the ages and dates of when you foster children for a tax return form you’ll need to complete each year.

Can foster parents receive benefits?

While there are some tax benefits you cannot claim, as a foster parent, you may be able to claim any of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Council tax reduction
  • Income-based job seeker’s allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Working tax credits
  • Housing benefit

Ready to apply for your career in foster care? Learn more about how to apply to become a foster parent now. Alternatively, if you want to know more about fostering pay or advice on how much foster parents get paid, contact Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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