How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid?

Do Foster carers get paid?

Everyone who is considering becoming a foster parent will inevitably have a number of questions about what fostering involves. One of the most common such inquiries that we receive is “How much do foster parents get paid in the UK?”. Despite the question itself being straightforward, there are a number of factors which goes into calculating foster carer pay and this can make it difficult to put an exact number on the amount. For example, looking after children which additional needs or a child who requires specialist medical care is likely to result in a higher foster carer pay. 

In a similar manner, the type of fostering you chose to undertake will likely affect the fostering allowance that you receive. We have dedicated pages for each type of fostering, from long-term fostering to specialist provision such as Parent and Child fostering. In this guide, we’ll explore in detail foster parent pay, and the financial benefits associated with fostering to provide a clear picture for prospective foster carers.

Fostering Allowance Explained

The term “fostering allowance” refers to the financial support provided to foster parents to cover the costs associated with caring for a child as well as to reward you for the vital work that you do as a foster carer. The rate of fostering allowance varies based on several factors:

  • Location: The region where you live can affect the allowance rate due to the varying cost of living across the UK and due to the differing needs of local authorities across the UK.
  • Child’s Needs: Children with complex needs may require more resources, for example, as a foster parent of a child with more complex needs you may need to attend additional meetings or appointments, or you may need to undertake specific training or learn additional skills to help support them. Consequently, the fostering allowance will increase to reflect such enhanced requirements.
  • Type of Fostering: Different fostering arrangements, such as short-term, long-term, or parent and child fostering, have differing fostering allowances.

At Family Fostering Partners, we pride ourselves on offering a generous fostering allowance and benefits package that acknowledges the dedication of our foster parents. Our weekly ranges from £365 per week per child to around £950 per week per child. As mentioned above, answering the question “how much do foster parents get paid” is difficult without relying upon ranges due to the myriad of factors which are part of the calculation, however, we are committed to ensuring that all of our foster parents are adequately compensated for their invaluable work.

Foster Parent Pay: What to Expect

As discussed, foster parent pay in the UK is a broad term that encompasses the fostering allowance and additional financial benefits or incentives provided to foster carers. Based upon the foster carer pay range outlined above, foster parents can expect to receive an annual allowance ranging from £18,980 to £49,400 per child. 

This allowance is generally tax-free, this is a UK Government incentive which aims to acknowledge the vital role that foster carers play in looking after children, and to encourage more people to foster. It’s important to note that this allowance is designed to cover the costs associated with the child’s care, including food, clothing, transportation, and personal expenses.


Family Fostering Values

Tax Benefits and Incentives

As mentioned above, when it comes to foster parent pay, there are significant favourable tax arrangements for carers. The UK government offers tax incentives to foster parents to encourage more individuals to take on this vital role. Foster carers can benefit from increased tax exemptions and relief for every week a child is in their care—£375 for any child under 11 and £450 for those over 11, this is in addition to an increased tax allowance. These incentives ensure that foster parents enjoy a higher take-home pay, making fostering a more financially viable option for many. Below we’ve included an example of how these tax arrangements would affect a standard foster carer, more detailed information can be found on the UK Government website.

As an example:

Charlotte cares for a 14-year-old for a whole year, she also helps to care for a 12-year-old for 20 weeks of the year. Charlotte would not have to pay tax on the first £47,980 she earns from fostering:

Tax exemption = £18,140 + Child 1 (52 x £420) + Child 2 (20 x £380)

Tax Exemption = £18,140 + £21,840 + £8,000

Total = £47,980

This is just an example of how the tax arrangement for foster carers work and shouldn’t be relied upon as detailed tax advice. We hope this goes some way to answering the question of “How much do foster parents get paid in the UK” and also helps explain why that is such a difficult question to give a specific answer for! 

our Foster Carer benefits

“Be There To Care” Scheme

In addition to everything we’ve mentioned above, at Family Fostering Partners we recognise that deciding to foster is an enormous decision, that’s why we’ve created our “Be There To Care” scheme. This unique financial transition scheme provides weekly payments for up to 10 weeks to help prospective foster carers cover their living expenses as they transition to fostering. This support is crucial for
families concerned about losing a regular income while fulfilling fostering responsibilities.


The Benefits of Fostering with Family Fostering Partners

Choosing to foster with us at Family Fostering Partners means more than just receiving a fostering allowance. It means becoming part of a community dedicated to making a positive impact on children’s lives. Our foster parents benefit from:

  • Support and Training: Comprehensive support and training sessions to prepare you for various fostering situations.
  • Membership Benefits: Free membership to FosterTalk, providing an array of services such as legal advice, financial guidance, and more.

In conclusion, foster parent pay involves more than just the fostering allowance, there are a myriad of factors to consider when trying to answer the question “how much do foster parents get paid in the UK”. We hope we’ve given you a more detailed understanding of foster care pay in this blog, however, if you have any further questions, we are always on hand to help. If you have specific questions or if you would like to take the first step in becoming a foster parent, we can be contacted using our live chat feature (which goes directly to a member of our team), by completing an online form, or by calling us directly on 0330 0948816. 


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Thinking About Fostering?

Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a foster carer? Fill out the contact form below. Our dedicated team will be delighted to assist and guide you.