How much do Foster Carers Get Paid
There is no simple answer to the question, ‘how much do foster carers get paid?’ The allowance or fostering income is calculated based on a variety of factors such as the child’s age, the number of children, your geographic location and any special needs that the child may have.
Recommended national rates provide a guideline to local authorities. These are divided into the three geographical areas of London, the South East and the rest of the UK. The rates also vary depending upon whether the children are babies, pre-primary, primary, 11 to 15, or 16 and 17.
Checking out the recommended rates or enquiring of independent agencies can give you a ballpark figure but until you become a foster parent and the composition of your foster family is determined, there is no way to identify your income in advance. It can change from week to week because the fee is calculated on a weekly basis and paid monthly. This is especially true in cases of emergency care where children may only be with you for a day or two.
Your income is based on the type of placement and the kind of care the child or young person requires. If they have special needs, there will be extra costs and therefore extra payment. If you judge by the recommended standards, it might appear that you receive a bit over three hundred pounds a week per child, but if you talk to people who are already involved, you might hear that the income is double that.
The reality is that it is not possible to use these as true indicators of what you might earn. The allowance is specific to each individual set of circumstances. Regardless of the type of placements you accept in your home, there is always a need for your services and the income can be sufficient to qualify as a full time career for you.
Aside from the amount you earn, there are other financial benefits such as the tax and national insurance benefits that you can claim as well as tax allowances for foster carers. An advisor can help you understand your national insurance contributions, qualifying care relief, tax and national benefits, tax credits, and tax returns.
You will be considered to be self-employed and as such, you are responsible for keeping track of day to day income and expenses and keeping your tax forms up to date. You are entitled to a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 annually. The exemption is pro-rata to the time you provide care. The exemption applies to the home not to each individual foster carer in the household. For example, a couple would be allowed a joint exemption of up to £10,000.
You are eligible for tax relief in addition to the £10,000 exemption. This applies to every week or part week that a child is in your care. Currently, this is £200 per child per week or part thereof for a child under 11 years of age and £250 for a child 11 and over.
If you are interested in making a career of fostering, talk to Capstone about the requirements and about the income that you will derive from this rewarding line of work. The application process takes several months while your health and home are checked out. You need to have sufficient room for each child in care. Our support is excellent and you will receive the support, training and help you need.
If you would like to register your interest to become a foster carer, or simply talk to someone further about foster caring, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or you can click here to email us.See more articles…