How Much Do Foster Parents Get 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
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?
- Therapeutic foster placements – £500 – £575 per week
- Parent and child placements – £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.
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 new 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 over £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
- A reward to the carer for your 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 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.
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.