How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

How much does a foster carer get paid? Read on to find the answer to this commonly asked question, featuring exact figures for salaries and tax allowance.

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 most common questions that gets asked is, how much do foster parents get paid?

At Capstone Foster Care, our foster carers can earn up to £43,680 per child. For the vast majority of people, this is entirely tax-free!

Whilst we appreciate that conversations about foster care allowance can be uncomfortable, we also want to remove the stigma around fostering salaries. After all, whilst fostering is a vocation, it is also a career. So, read on to learn all about fostering allowances and whether fostering is the right choice for your family.

Fostering Allowance 

So, how much do you get paid for fostering? Fostering a vulnerable child who desperately needs your help not only has emotional rewards but offers financial benefits too. As a foster carer, much of your time will be dedicated to supporting and creating a safe environment for your foster child – which is why fostering allowance is provided to support you and your lifestyle, whether you’re a long or short-term carer.

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

  • Child’s needs – each child will have a unique set of needs that require various degrees of support.
  • Age - the age of the child in your care.
  • Location - the geographical area you are fostering in.
  • Parent and Child Arrangements – if you are supporting both a parent and their child in your home.

So, how much do foster carers get paid?

Here at Capstone Foster Care, as an Employee Ownership Trust, we are able to offer competitive rates for our fostering arrangements. Here is a financial breakdown of some of our fostering placements:

Therapeutic Placements

The demand for support for foster children with complex requirements is growing. As a result, we have developed a long-standing, highly successful programme called MATTS. MATTS provides carers with clinical support, additional training and resources to enable them to accommodate specialist therapeutic placements. Fostering allowances for children and carers supported by MATTS  are up to  £650 per week. So, if you look after a child under this arrangement for a whole year, your total income will be up to £33,800 per child. All necessary training for therapeutic foster care is provided by our team at Capstone, meaning the majority of our carers are eligible to provide care under our MATTS service.

Standard Placements

Total allowances for most of our standard arrangements - including respite payments - are over £440 per week, which would work out to be over £1,900 a month or £22,880 a year. So, if you were to foster two children as part of a standard arrangement, you would receive over £45,750 per year. We provide an annual £200 gift for ongoing carers at the re-approval stage and 14-nights short stay support. 

Parent and Child Placements

Fostering allowance for parent and child placements start from £840 per week, to comfortably support you and the parent and baby in your care. At Capstone Foster Care, we’ve seen an increase in demand for mother and baby fostering arrangements, as more parents seek additional support and guidance when raising their newborn. Though usually short-term, these placements are also incredibly rewarding for our foster carers. 

Want to learn about different foster care arrangements? Discover the various types of foster care placements available at Capstone, or contact a member of our team to learn more about each offer and their unique fostering allowance.

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 the child’s unique set of needs.

There are standards set by the government for independent agencies, such as Capstone Foster Care, to use as a guideline when compensating their foster carers. Click here to learn more.


Can foster carers receive a pay rise?

As part of our commitment to support you with every aspect of your fostering journey, we regularly review our fostering allowances. In the past two years, our carers have received five increases to support them through the cost of living challenges we have all been experiencing. 

Do foster carers pay income tax?

Yes - foster carers do pay income tax. However, as well as receiving a competitive allowance, foster carers benefit from a specialist tax allowance called Qualifying Care Relief. Carers who qualify for care relief in the 2023 to 2024 tax year are entitled to:

  • £18,140 tax-free earnings from fostering
  • Plus tax relief for each week you care for a foster child

Foster carers who support children under the age of 11 will receive an additional £375 of tax relief per week, per child. Foster carers supporting children and adults aged 11 or over will receive £450 of tax relief per week, per child.

Once you are approved as a foster parent and registered with the HMRC, you will be classed as self-employed. In turn, you will need to keep a record of the ages of the children in your care and the dates/duration of when you foster for your annual tax return form.

Can foster parents receive benefits?

Yes, you are still eligible to receive benefits as a foster parent. However, some of the benefits you receive could change once you become a foster carer. Benefits you could be entitled to include:

  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Personal Independence Payments
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Carers allowance (if fostering a disabled child)

For more information on the benefits, you could be entitled to read our guide on fostering and benefits.

Do foster carers pay National Insurance? 

If your fostering income falls within your qualifying care relief, you do not have to pay National Insurance. However, many foster carers voluntarily pay National Insurance to secure state benefits.

Can I foster if I’ve had financial problems in the past?

Yes, you can foster if you have experienced financial struggles in the past. However, you will need to provide evidence to show that you’re in a financially secure position now, in order to prove you can provide a stable home for a child.

Ready to start your career in foster care?

Begin by filling out the enquiry form below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about fostering pay or need additional advice on how much foster parents get paid, contact us 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.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.