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 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.
There are standards set by the government that independent agencies such as FosterCare UK use as a guideline for the compensation paid to their foster carers. There is a minimum basic allowance per child in care based on the child’s age and geographic location.
The basic weekly allowance covers general household expenses, food, mileage, school meals, the child’s clothing, and pocket money. Beyond this there is a weekly fee that is measured on each child’s individual special needs.
The total pay per week from an independent fostering agency can be up to £600 per child or placement. This includes both the allowance and the fee beyond the allowance. On average, at FosterCare UK we pay an allowance of approximately £400 per week, per child.
It’s difficult to confirm the exact amount a foster carer will get paid, as it usually depends on the number of children you support, and the individual needs of those children. It is safe to say, that allowances at FosterCare UK are much more than the minimum weekly fostering allowance, which was set by the government:
For 2017-2018, the minimum weekly fostering allowance nationally in the UK is as follows – babies, £125; Pre Primary, £128; Primary, £141, 11 to 15, £161, and 16 to 17, £188.
The additional fees at FosterCare UK are paid on top of this allowance in recognition of the work foster carers do in caring for children. Higher allowances are also paid if children have an increased level of needs because of physical, emotional, or mental challenges. If, for instance, a disabled child needs mobility equipment or specialised therapy, the fostering agency provides the funds. There are several types of foster care and the fee differs depending upon the level of need. If the foster parent discovers that there is something that can improve the child’s daily life, the agency is able to discuss how it can help with the cost.
The income from fostering is a two-fold matter. Part of it is to cover the cost of caring for the child to the best of the agency’s and the carer’s ability. Part of it is to reward the carer for time and energy involved in providing the kind of home that changes the child’s outcome in the adult world to a bright and hopeful place. As well as the income, there are the benefits of having a tax exemption for up to £10,000.
If you want to know about fostering, the available support for foster carers, and what it takes to be a foster carer, contact FosterCare UK on 0844 800 1941 or simply click here.