One of the most common questions we get asked is “how much do you get paid for fostering?”. As a foster carer 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.
- 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 fees paid for looking after a 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.
- If you foster, you’ll be eligible for National Insurance credits, which counts towards your State Pension.
As a leading fostering agency, Compass average a fostering payment of £370 for every child per week living in your home. 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 children placed with you. On average our carers support between one and two children every week and therefore the actual average carer weekly fostering allowance is in excess of £460.
The day to day living allowance of a child 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. For more information, please call us on 0800 566 8317.
The good news is foster carers have an additional tax exemption!
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. Find out more about how this on the FosterTalk website or with HRMC.
The below foster carer allowance 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.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about the fostering allowance that Compass pay, fostering income, or if you have any general questions about foster care, please fill out the form on this page and we will send you our info pack and give you a call.