Financial support

The typical annual income for a National Fostering Group foster carer is £22,000 a year. The amount paid depends on the type of care the child needs, and is usually tax free.

We really value our National Fostering Group carers and the children they care for, so we believe it’s really important for them to have a good quality of life. As a carer with National Fostering Group, you will receive a typical income of £22,000 a year, most of which is tax free.

  • You will receive a generous fostering allowance for a child in your care
  • You may also be exempt from paying tax on this allowance
  • You’ll need to register as self-employed and pay NI contributions
  • You might also be entitled to Working Tax Credit

What does the allowance cover?

It’s intended to cover all the needs of each foster child including food, clothing, travel, activities, savings and so on. We provide clear guidance on how you can best spend the money so that the child has a healthy, happy and balanced life.

Everyone’s fostering allowance is different, because it’s dependent on the type of care provided, for example if a child has complex needs. It also depends on the age of the children and whether you are fostering in London, the South East or the rest of the UK.

Will I be taxed on the allowance?

In general, foster carers are exempt from paying tax on the fostering allowance. The exception would be if a foster carer with multiple placements or additional work gave an income above the current government threshold.

For tax purposes, foster carers are regarded as self-employed. You can find out more about being a self employed foster carer from HM Revenue & Customs.

Will I have to pay National Insurance?

All foster carers must register as self-employed and pay National Insurance contributions. Find out more by contacting the newly self-employed helpline.

Do I qualify for tax credits or additional benefits?

Fostering counts as self-employment, so you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit and also Child Tax Credit if you have children of your own. Find out more about tax credits and see if you are eligible.

To find out if you are eligible for any additional benefits or fostering allowances, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Am I eligible for bridging retainer payments?

There can never be a price on the value you bring in building incredible futures for the children and young people you look after. We understand your fostering allowance is pivotal and we do all we can to bring you financial peace of mind.

In order to provide you with more security in between placements, we provide our carers with a weekly bridging retainer payment, plus another payment to be made at the start of your next placement.

If you are available for fostering and have no children placed with you, you will qualify for Bridging Retainer Payments if the following criteria are met:

  • You have been an approved foster carer with National Fostering Group for one year or more
  • You have not already received 6 weeks of Bridging Retainer Payments in a rolling 12-month period
  • You are not ‘on hold’ with your agency, or offering respite care only

What extra benefits will I receive as a National Fostering Group carer?

Specialist Home Insurance

We have partnered with Bollington Insurance, and as a valued foster carer with us our carers have easy access to an insurance policy bespoke to the needs of fostering at a comparable cost.

Taking out this policy as a National Fostering Group carer gives you:

  • Insurance against damage or loss caused by a child in your care, including malicious damage by the foster child.
  • Cover against theft committed by the foster child of items in your home
  • Cover for the belongings of the foster child
  • Legal liability cover for injury to the foster child
  • Legal liability cover for injury or damage caused by the foster child (excluding criminal actions)
  • A £10 Amazon voucher to treat yourself or children in your household if you take out the policy

Click here for more information on our specialist home insurance 

The Max Card

We now offer all our carers a free Max Card, providing discounts on activities and days out across the UK. Max Cards are an established scheme for foster carers, helping you create positive lasting memories for the children in your care.  As a valued National Fostering Group carer, you have the opportunity to receive a card assigned to yourself – not a child, making it easier to access discounts.

Click here to find out more about the Max Card. 

Free membership to The Cinema Society

All approved carers in the National Fostering Group can enjoy up to 40% off the price of taking the family to the cinema. Click here to browse participating theatres local to you.

High Street discounts through The National Fostering Group Hub

As a foster carer with us, you can access the National Fostering Group Hub. This is a fantastic online programme providing discounts and cashback with over 800 retailers and service providers.

From the high street to holidays, groceries to gardening, before you buy anything – take a look at the National Fostering Group Hub to save money on everyday purchases, utilities or special occasions.

Save money on London West End shows

The National Fostering Group Theatre Club is a special service to help book tickets to London theatre – and save money.

The Theatre Club features discounts and special offers to a wealth of West End musicals and plays in London, plus special theatre and dinner packages and hotel and theatre breaks.

Free use of the Encyclopaedia Britannica online library

Finding information online to support a child through any stage of their education can be a minefield. Not all information is accurate or up to date, and it can be hard to separate fact, fiction and opinion.

Free access to Encyclopaedia Britannica for all National Fostering Group Carers helps you access high quality and trusted information quickly and easily.

Searching for information is simple, and leads you to the most recent articles as well as archive information and linked facts. Encyclopaedia Britannica can be used by any child, young person or adult in your fostering household.

Foster carer ID card

All carers in the National Fostering Group can have access to an ID card, to help make things run a little smoother.

The cards a free to you, and can help with some of the day to day aspects of fostering. They give you evidence of being a foster carer when completing tasks such as arranging appointments or ordering prescriptions.


Need more information about fostering finances?

The best way to get more information is to fill out our enquiry form for a callback. An advisor from your local National Fostering Group team will get back in touch to explain more about how to become a foster carer, and answer any questions you have at this stage.

Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We’re 14 close-knit independent fostering agencies
  • Over 3,500 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers