How much do foster parents get paid?
While fostering attracts people who want to make a change in the lives of children and young people, not far behind is the question of how much do foster parents get paid. As a foster carer, can you bring in enough money to make it a viable career choice?
The short answer is “yes.” Becoming a foster carer and caring for a child who desperately needs you is its own reward but there are financial benefits as well. It’s not the same as being employed outside the home because as a foster parent, there is rarely time away from the job.
The demand for therapeutic fostering placements has grown over the last year and as a result Capstone Foster Care will introduce a programme to increase the number of carers who can provide therapeutic placements. Allowances for carers who are able to offer this type of placement can be in excess of £500.
The allowance for parent and child placements is between £600-650 per week, and the total allowances for a standard placement, including respite payments is up to £400 per week. Allowances vary depending on the age and needs of the child.
The weekly allowance paid to carers is made up of two parts; money to cover the costs of looking after a child and a reward to the carer for their time and skill. 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 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. This basic weekly allowance covers general household expenses, food, mileage, school meals, the child’s clothing, and pocket money.
The other part of the allowance is to reward the carer for the time and energy involved in providing the kind of home that gives the child a chance of a brighter future.
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.
If you want to know about fostering, the available support for foster carers, and what it takes to be a foster carer, contact Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.