How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

How much does a foster carer get paid? This is a common question everyone asks, read on to find exact figures on how much foster parents are 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 most common questions that gets asked is, how much do foster parents get paid?

At FosterCare UK, 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 a viable career choice for your family.

Fostering Allowance 

So, how much do you get paid for fostering? Fostering a child who desperately needs your help not only has emotional rewards, but 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 a 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:

  • The 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.
  • Local authority or independent fostering agency - it can also depend on whether you are fostering with a local authority or an independent fostering agency.

So, how much do foster carers get paid?

Here at FosterCare UK, as an Employee Ownership Trust, we are able to offer competitive fostering rates for 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 MATTS placements are up to £650 per week. So, if you look after a child in a MATTS placement 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 FosterCare UK, meaning the majority of our carer’s are eligible to provide MATTS placements.  

Standard Placements

Total allowances for most of our standard placements - including respite payments - is in excess of £455 per week, which would work out to be around £1,970 a month or £23,600 a year. So, if you were to foster two children as part of a standard arrangement, you would receive over £47,300 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

The fostering allowance for parent and child placements is from £840 per week, and the need for this service is increasing.

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 FosterCare UK, to use as a guideline when compensating their foster carers. Click here to learn more.

Do foster carers pay tax?

Only a minority of foster carers pay any income tax. 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, the benefits you receive could change once you become a foster carer. Some of the 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)

Ready to apply for your career in foster care? Learn more about how become a foster parent now. Alternatively, if you want to know more about fostering pay or advice on how much foster parents get paid, contact us on 0844 800 1941 or fill out the contact form below.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with FosterCare UK, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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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.

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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 Fostercare UK.