One of the most common questions we get asked is “how much do foster carers get paid?” As a foster carer in the UK you will have a huge effect on children’s lives, helping them to improve their self-esteem, make better choices and helping them to go on to have a safer and happier future.
We recognise that looking after a child or young person has financial implications which is why as a foster carer you are paid a weekly fostering allowance which is made up of a professional fee for yourself and also a day to day living allowance for the child.
How much do foster parents get paid?
There are a number of different factors which contribute to how much foster carers are paid per week. Compass average payments of £370 for every child per week living in your home. On average our carers support between one and two children every week and therefore the actual average weekly foster care allowance is in excess of £460 with Compass. This is above the national minimum rates.
This includes both the professional fee paid to you as a foster carer and the child’s living allowance. This is the money to be spent on caring for a child placed with you.
- Payments are hassle-free: they’re paid electronically, directly into your bank account!
- Fostering can be a challenging, full time role, so we continually look at different ways of supporting foster carers, including ensuring they are able to take short breaks.
- On top of foster care allowance paid for caring for a foster child, you’ll also have opportunities to earn more through becoming a Carer Recruitment Ambassador.
- Should you have the room, you are more likely to have the opportunity to look after multiple children or young people simultaneously with Compass than you are with the local authority. Learn more about the differences between fostering agencies and local authorities
- If you foster, you’ll be eligible for National Insurance credits, which counts towards your State Pension.
The day to day living allowance for foster children looked after in your home will vary depending on the age and need of the child. It will generally cover the cost of food, clothing, toiletries, pocket money and all other expenses incurred including pocket money and savings. Government guidelines suggest £150 per week to cover the day to day costs as a minimum. Many people ask if they can foster and work full time, but this is often not possible, so it’s worth considering this when thinking about finances.
How much is a fostering allowance for different types of fostering?
How much foster parents get paid in the UK also depends on the type of fostering that you do. For example, a parent and child fostering allowance, can be up to 1.5 times more than you would from a standard fostering placement!
The good news is foster carers have an additional tax exemption!
Is Fostering Allowance Taxable?
There’s a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year which is shared equally among any foster carers in the same household. It means that you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income you make from fostering. On top of the £10,000 you will also get tax relief for every week (or part week) that a child is in your care; which means you don’t have to pay tax on some of your earnings over £10,000.
For a child under 11 years this is £200 per week and for a child over it’s £250 per week. As foster carers are considered self-employed, they are responsible for paying their own taxes. Find out more about how this all works from our guide to foster carer taxes or with HRMC.
The below foster care pay breakdown examples will give you an idea of how the tax allowances work. All examples are for illustrative purposes only and are based on a 52-week placement. The actual amount you will receive may vary from the example (either higher or lower) and can vary between Compass regions.
Tax relief examples
A foster carer has a 14 year old boy in placement – the foster carers will receive £370 per week for the length of the placement.
POST-TAX EARNINGS OF
Over 52 weeks of the year = £19,400. Equivalent Annual Salary* roughly £23,500.
A carer has a sibling group of three who are 2, 5 and 12 years old – their foster carers receive £977.82 per week for the length of the placement.
POST-TAX EARNINGS OF
Over 52 weeks of the year = £50,846.64. Equivalent Annual Salary* roughly £71,000.
A carer has a 14 year old boy exhibiting problematic sexual behaviour. The carers received £760 per week for the length of the placement.
POST-TAX EARNINGS OF
Over 52 weeks of the year = £39,520. Equivalent Annual Salary* roughly £49,000.
*illustrative example based upon standard tax payer.
Become a Foster Parent
Learn more about the process of becoming a foster parent and request a digital brochure today. If you have more questions about pay or how much you get for fostering a child then call us on 0800 566 8317 and we’ll be able to answer any questions you may have.