Fostering Fees and Allowance

Fostering Fees & Allowance


What should you know about Fostering fees and allowance?
We know, that when people and families are “called” to fostering, its not for financial benefit, moreover a deep seated need to help and nurture the vulnerable children in their care and to see the tangible difference they are making to a childs life. However, having said that we also recognise the hard work, commitment and dedication that our Foster Carers demonstrate repeatedly. In today’s world, Fostering is as much a professional role as it is a personal one, and as such we believe that our Foster Carers rightly deserve to be rewarded for the work that they do day in day out.

 

Additionally, particularly in the current climate of financial strains that so many people are experiencing it is more and more important that financial support is provided to those who are providing loving homes for our communities most vulnerable children. The weekly fee that we provide to our Carers will offer peace of mind in knowing that the costs involved with looking after an extra child are covered. This includes things such as general household expenses, food, clothing, mileage, school meals and travel as well as including additional payment for the work and support that is being offered, especially keeping in mind that unlike other “paid work” there is not a finish time. Foster Care is a 24/7 in the same way that parenting your own children would be.

It is for these reasons that we provide our Carers with a robust financial support package to ensure that they are not having to worry about the cost implications having an additional child in the house would bring.

We provide the following to all of our Foster Carers

  • Generous weekly fee, with potential fee top ups where additional support levels are needed
  • Annual Birthday grant to help you and your foster child celebrate their big day in style
  • Annual Festival celebration grant – this could be used for Christmas/Eid/Diwali you choose
  • Annual Holiday grant – Because every child should have the opportunity to create great new memories
  • Fully funded membership to Foster Talk
  • Access to a discount portal proving a host of discounts for shopping and entertainment

 

Our Foster Carers are paid a competitive weekly fee for mainstream children who are placed in their care (this is paid to our Carers fortnightly). This weekly fee will be based on a number of factors including, the type of placement, the child’s age and any specific additional needs of the child such as complex health issues or disability. Our Foster Carers are paid on average £20,780 per year per child in placement.  For more information about our fees please do reach out to us

Will fostering fees and allowance affect my benefits?

If you are currently receipt of benefit, it is understandable that you would want to know what, if any, impact fostering may have on these. And rightly so, as it’s important to remember that fostering allowances are only paid when you have a child or young person in placement. Well, the good news is that it is unlikely to have any impact as the vast majority of your fostering payment is not taken into consideration when looking at household income, this means any impact on means tested benefits such as Universal credit would be minimal. We have created a fact sheet that you can download that explains this in more detail. (link to fostering on benefits fact sheet) how this works. Please do feel free to download and if you would like any further information or clarification, you are more than welcome to speak to one of our lovely team who will be able to help you further. Additionally you can use free benefit calculator tools to check what if any impact fostering could have. Here are links to three such calculators that are approved by DWP

Did you know that Foster Carers are self employed?

A common question we get asked is “are foster carers self-employed?” The short answer to this question is yes.

All Foster Carers need to register as self-employed and are responsible for paying their own taxes if there are any due. If this is something totally new to you, it may feel quite a daunting thought, but worry not, we can provide training and guidance to those who this may be new to and registering as self-employed is actually quite straight forward. This is completed online on the HMRC website.


Self Assessment and Taxes

Another question we hear is “Are fostering payments tax free”. The answer to this is no, however the likely reason someone may of heard this is because of the extremely helpful tax exemptions/relief that are afforded to Foster Carers which means that you may often end up paying little to no tax on your fostering income. As always, we are on hand to answer any questions you may have so please do feel free to reach out to any of our team.

In short though Fostering households have a tax exemption of £18,140, (this tax exemption is specific for fostering allowances so does not affect your tax personal allowances) you will also receive further tax relief of up to £450 for each week that you have a child in placement (per child).


Working example of tax exemptions

 

Laura is a Foster Carer for Paige who is 14 years old. Paige is on a long term placement with Laura so has been with her all 52 weeks of the year, Laura also fostered 8 years old Sam for 10 weeks.

Tax Exemption = £18,140 + Tax relief for Paige (52 x £450) + Tax relief for Sam (10 x £375)= £45,290

As you can see above, Laura has a total of £45,290 of tax free fostering allowance before she needs to class any of her payments as “taxable income” So if Laura was being paid £400 per week to care for Paige and £390 per week to care for Sam her total annual income for fostering would be £24,700.00 meaning there would be no taxable income.

Get in touch with us to see how we can help you get into Fostering