How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

Allowances and help with the cost of fostering

We firmly believe that fostering entails both rewarding and, at times, demanding responsibilities, and foster carers’ packages should facilitate the highest level of care for the young person. As raising a child can be costly, it is crucial for foster carers to be able to cover their expenses. We actively engage foster carers in setting allowances, and in compliance with Fostering Regulations, these will undergo annual reviews.

Pre-Placement
We tailor our fees to local authorities based on the child’s needs. A higher fee corresponds to a young person with additional needs, whether psychological or physical. As part of our matching criteria, we assess information such as school and contact requirements in the referral information to determine if additional support and resources are necessary in these areas.

Foster carers will receive an email outlining the agreed fee and any additional elements, such as sessional or respite work, prior to any young person being placed

Payments
So, how much do foster cares get paid? Fostering with Apex, you will receive £450 a week minimum. Foster carers will be paid every week, a week after a young person is placed.For one young person this will be paid tax free. For children with complex needs this can increase to £750.

On-Going Fees
Contracts typically decrease agency fees if a young person’s placement exceeds a set duration or becomes permanent. The agency absorbs this reduction, ensuring foster carers are not affected. Additionally, we do not reduce payments to carers for taking in siblings. If a local authority agrees to a higher fee but plans to review and potentially reduce it after a few months, we communicate this arrangement clearly to foster carers, empowering them to make informed decisions about accepting the placement.

Savings
It is not demanded that a foster carer set up savings for a young person but would be highly appreciated. Some local authorities save five pounds a week at source. For the ones which do not, the agency will do this. 

 

Pocket Money
It is mandatory that all foster carers set up a Go Henry Card (or similar) for children over five years of age and that the young person’s pocket money is placed on the card. 

This is part of them learning independence and financial responsibility. The foster carer can monitor expenditure and set limits. We have guidelines on how much carers should give children depending on their age.

Young people enjoy being able to see how they are spending their money and it helps them develop a sense of financial responsibility. 

Clothing Allowance
Although foster carers are given a weekly allowance we do not expect them to spend this amount each week. It would be usual to save the money and take the young person shopping for clothes once a month or if the young person is older, give them the allowance. 

 

Expenses

Celebrations

Many of the young people placed may not have experienced a birthday party or celebration. It is crucial to commemorate achievements and birthdays with a cake, presents, and, whenever feasible, a party with friends. Some support groups organize outings with children to engage in activities. Apex will send young people a twenty-pound Amazon voucher on their birthday and a fifty-pound voucher for Christmas/Festival.

Holiday Payment
Foster carers receive two weeks additional payment a week towards the cost of taking a child on holiday.

Additional Costs
We do not want young people to miss out on possible opportunities so if they have a chance to take part in an overseas sporting competition or are taking part in a high cost extra curricular activity such as horse riding competitions, we will look to contribute towards these.

Insurance
The agency has insurance to cover any injury or damage which might occur to a foster carer, family member or their home or possessions. You must tell your home insurance company that you foster. This is particularly important as there are limits on the agency damage insurance which includes a £100,000 damage to a fire been started.

Claiming Benefits
Being a foster parent can affect your benefits. Check a benefits calculator to see what you’re eligible for.

If you’re claiming benefits you need to tell the organisation that pays you that you’re also getting a foster care allowance.

You can get disability benefits for your foster child if they meet the criteria. You may also be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if your foster child gets Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

 

Tax Arrangements
Foster carers are registered as self-employed and will need to submit a tax return to HMRC each year. We will provide you with a remittance in April to enable you to do this. Fostering Network have a number of helpful leaflets on financial matters.

In your tax return, you’ll be able to claim:

  • a tax exemption of up to £18,140 per household
  • tax relief for every week you foster a child

This is known as qualifying care relief. The scheme calculates a tax threshold unique to the fostering household and when compared with their total fostering payments, determines if a foster carer has to pay any tax from their fostering or not. For many foster carers their total fostering payments are below their tax threshold and they do not have to pay any tax.  

You may be entitled to National Insurance credits, which count towards your State Pension.

You’ll still pay tax on money you earn from a job or investment.

Interested in Fostering? Find out more here.