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.

If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, it’s likely you also have questions about fostering finances. Read our comprehensive guide to receive the unfiltered facts and figures about fostering pay and allowances.

At Excel Fostering, we understand that conversations about fostering pay can be uncomfortable. That’s why we work closely with our carers and prospective foster parents to remove the stigma around fostering salaries to ensure you feel both supported and well-informed.

So, how much do our foster parents get paid? At Excel Fostering, our foster carers earn from £21,000 to upwards of £41,600 per child. Read on to learn all the facts and figures surrounding fostering allowances, taxes and exemptions.

Fostering Allowances

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 fostering allowance is provided to support you and your lifestyle, whether you’re a long or short-term carer.

However, how much our foster carers get paid each week varies based on a series of factors, including:

  • The child’s needs – each child will have a unique set of needs that require various degrees of support.
  • Their age - the age of the child in your care.
  • Your location - the geographical area you are fostering in.
  • Parent and Child Arrangements - if you are supporting both a parent and their child in your home. 

Does your allowance depend on your fostering arrangement?

Yes - as an Employee Ownership Trust, we are proud to offer competitive rates for all our foster placements. However, this amount varies depending on your unique fostering arrangement. Here are some specific examples of the types of foster placements available and the average weekly salary for each:

Standard Placements

Total allowance for the majority of our standard placements - including respite payments - is in excess of £400 per week, which works out to be around £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. We also gift every carer with an annual £200 gift for ongoing carers at the re-approval stage and 14 nights short stay support.

Parent and Child Placements

Fostering allowance for parent and child placements start from £800 per week, to comfortably support you and the parent and baby in your care. At Excel Fostering, we’ve seen an increase in demand for mother and baby fostering arrangements, as more parents seek additional support and guidance when raising their newborn. Though usually short-term, these placements are also incredibly rewarding for our foster carers.

Therapeutic Placements

Fostering allowances for therapeutic placements are between £535 and over £600 per week. As the demand for support for foster children with complex requirements has grown, 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. In turn, carers who support a child therapeutically for a whole year receive a total income of over £27,820 per child (and £23,000 of this will be tax-free).

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
  • Payment to the carer for their 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 Excel Fostering, to use as a guideline when compensating their foster carers. Click here to learn more.

Do foster carers pay tax?

Foster carers receive a specialist tax allowance called Qualifying Care Relief. This means that 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 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.

In turn, many foster parents aren’t required to pay any tax on their fostering income. However,

you will still need to register with HMRC as self-employed and keep a record of the ages and dates of when you foster children 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

Ready to begin your career in foster care?

Begin by filling out the enquiry form below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about fostering pay or need additional advice on how much foster parents get paid, contact us on 0800 012 4004.

Thinking of fostering?

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

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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. 

Request a
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 Excel Fostering.