How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?
The first thought on the mind of most potential foster carers is how they can help children and young people in need. However, not too far behind that is the thought of a fostering allowance and how much do foster parents get paid. Foster care, of course, is a full-time job, so it’s important to be sure that your new career is financially viable. While becoming a foster carer and looking after young people in need is a rewarding experience in itself, that alone won’t pay bills. That is why all foster carers receive a weekly fostering allowance, or foster care pay, per child or young person in their care.
How much foster carers are paid per week varies on a number of factors. This can include:
- The needs of the child or young person in your care
- The types of foster care you are providing
- The age of your foster placement and the geographical area you are fostering in.
- It can also depend on whether you are fostering with a local authority of an independent fostering agency – as the latter can often afford to pay its care team a larger weekly amount than local authorities can.
Foster care pay – broken down
This weekly fostering income is split into two distinct parts:
- The first exists as support for foster carers and to help cover the costs of caring for a foster placement, including the cost for food, clothing, transport, etc.
- The second half acts as a reward for carer’s hard work and dedication in providing their fostering services.
The UK government sets national minimum standards for these fostering allowances, which both local authorities and independent agencies, such as Excel Fostering, use to calculate their own weekly rates. This minimum allowance varies and ranges from approximately £130 to £200 per week per foster child. At Excel Fostering, our fostering pay weekly rates on average are well over £400 per week.
The demand for therapeutic fostering placements has grown over the last year and, as a result, Excel Fostering 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 will be tax-free).
Do foster parents pay tax?
Foster carers are considered self-employed professionals and so are eligible to claim income tax relief benefits. This generally means that foster parents with a single placement will not be required to pay any tax on any money received for that placement in a year – foster parents with two or more foster children need only pay a small amount of tax.
Foster allowance and training
As well as financial support, we also provide our carers with a wide range of foster carer training courses and daily support services. Our support services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer guidance and advice to our team members, no matter the time or day.
Sound good? Now you know everything about the fostering allowance, all you need to apply today is to be over the age of 21, be in good health and have a spare room in your home. Then you can take the first step on your journey to making a real difference to the lives of young people in your local area.
If this sounds like you and you’d like to apply to become a foster carer, then the Excel team would love to hear from you. Contact Excel today by phone on 01253 712734 or by using our online contact form.