Foster care payments recognise a professional job being done
First and foremost, fostering is about the children being looked after. But for many people, the reality is, it would be difficult to be a foster carer without the financial support available.
From a professional perspective it is also important that the role foster carers perform is recognised through payment. Especially as there is an expectation that foster carers will commit to training, develop their skills and take on extra responsibilities – at Perpetual Fostering we ask experienced foster carers to perform the additional role of mentoring their peers.
It is understandable, therefore, that before people apply to become a foster carer that they want to know what their financial position is likely to be. When I visit potential foster carers, these are among the questions I am commonly asked and it is good to know financial support is there.
Foster care payments can vary, as they depend on many things, but we work with people who have been able to leave careers in industries, such as banking, to become full time foster carers.
Can I carry on working and foster?
When I visit potential foster carers for the first time, one of the top questions I also get asked is, “can I keep a part time job?” Well, the answer is yes.
We do differ from some other agencies in that we recognise foster carers may want the option to work part time. We are realistic and understand we are in the 21st Century and people may want that extra income to pay bills, etc. We feel it is important that we are able to work around this.
The government also has taken steps to make fostering more natural in this respect. It is normal in the UK to have one parent working full time while the second may have a part time job – possibly 16 hours a week to supplement the family income.
If fostering responsibilities are shared between a couple then it is completely viable for the main carer to have a part time job. We have foster carers who carry out their fostering role and work in schools, nurseries and supermarkets.
New foster carers should also be aware that they are eligible for very generous tax relief from HMRC when they foster, which can be a big help! You can find out more about this by viewing the foster care payments page on our website.
If you want more detailed information on payments you can also always pick up to phone and speak to one our team. We are happy to speak to you whether you are simply at the information gathering stage or interested in applying to be a foster carer.