Foster Carer Pay
This article comes from a query Eileen came up with about Foster Carer Pay during our Fostering Lancashire Forum.
Thankfully fostering is increasingly being viewed as a career choice. With this recognition a framework has been developed across the relevant government bodies and fostering agencies to help ensure that foster carers feel supported, are suitably trained and appropriately rewarded for their time, effort and commitment.
This article provides a quick overview of the payment framework associated with foster carer pay. It is by no means exhaustive and so if you do decide to pursue a career in foster care then we recommend you seek more detailed advice on your personal tax implications or the impact on any benefits you currently receive. When that time comes, here at Lorimer Foster Services we can help and point you in the right direction for expert guidance.
How much does a Foster Carer get paid?
Depending on the nature of the child (placement) and the number of placements you have at any one time, you can expect to receive anything between £20,000 to £57,000 per year. This payment will include a Fostering Allowance to cover things like food, clothes, travel and leisure activities for the child plus a Fostering Payment which is the equivalent of what others might call a Salary.
Do Foster Carers pay tax?
There is a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year (less if you foster for a shorter period) that is shared equally between any foster carers in the same household. This means that you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income you receive from fostering.
Can Foster Carers still get benefits?
As a foster carer you will not be able to claim Child Tax Credit or Child Benefit for a child if you are receiving a Fostering Allowance. However, you may be eligible to claim Working Tax Credit, Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Disability Living Allowance. When the time is right, and you have become an approved foster carer, then you should talk to your local Benefits Office for more detailed advice.
Putting our money where our mouth is
Being a foster carer is increasingly being recognised as a valued career choice and not a voluntary service. And so in taking the step to become a foster carer you will be financially rewarded for your time, effort and commitment. You will also be emotionally rewarded for the difference you are making to a vulnerable child…and no one can put a price on that.