How much do foster carers get paid?
If you are considering fostering it is inevitably that at some point you will want to know how much you are likely to get paid.
People do not become foster carers just for the money – in fact, if you thinking along those lines you should probably stop now as fostering is not going to be the profession for you.
Nonetheless, knowing the financial implications is important. It sits alongside, ‘What level of support will my fostering agency provide?’ and ‘How much training will I receive?’ in the key questions people should ask.
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A career choice
Many foster carers give up alternative careers to take up fostering full time and it is sensible to know what the impact will be on your income. After all, it costs money to raise a child – to clothe them, to feed them, to encourage them to take up hobbies and interests. Think about driving them to rugby practice or trampolining club, these costs add up.
The good news is, that as part of your foster carer payment, you will be compensated for this. The exact amount depends on the age of the child, but these costs are included in the fostering allowance which forms the first part of your foster care payment.
This is supplemented by a reward payment paid by the fostering agency. This second element of payment recognises a foster carer’s level of experience, skill set and the type of placement involved. In this respect fostering is just like any other profession, as it offers an incentive to continue training and keep improving as foster carer.
Tax free income
An important distinction from other professions, however, is that you will receive very favourable tax relief on your income from the government. The degree to which you are tax exempt depends on your circumstances, but to give an example:
If you were to look after two children for a year, who were both aged 11 years-old or over, then the first £36,000 of income you receive through fostering would be tax free.
At Perpetual Fostering we understand that money is not the main reason why people foster – this was recently made evident in a blog written by our foster carer Adrian. But it is important to have a clear understanding of the financial implications of fostering.
To get the full details on how your tax exemption will be calculated, you can visit the HMRC website.
For further information on foster care payments, however, please contact our team directly on the website or by calling 0845 0740076.