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Money-saving perks and benefits for foster carers – check that you’re claiming

Tuesday 25 October 2022

These are tough times for fostering families as rising costs put pressure on household budgets. We are proud to have increased our foster carers’ fostering allowances every year since 2019, with a 4.5% rise in 2022. However, the rising cost of living remains a serious concern for many.

If you’re a foster carer with National Fostering Group, you can claim discounts, savings and access to free services, helping to support you and children in your care. Even if you’ve been fostering with us for years, take a moment to check you’re getting what you’re entitled to.

Highlighting our perks and benefits

All our foster carers have access to a wide range of exclusive perks and benefits. Many of our foster carers access these money-saving services regularly – like:

  • Discounts on groceries at major supermarkets
  • Educational support (for foster children and birth children)
  • Days out and family holidays

1. Discounts on food shopping and utilities

You can get discounts at supermarkets, such as Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and from service providers by using The Hub (our online benefits portal) and Blue Light Cards.

The Hub offers discounts at more than 800 high street retailers and service providers; Blue Light Cards, an established savings scheme for frontline workers, recently opened up to foster carers; offer more than 15,000 discounts from large national retailers to local businesses, including holidays, cars, and phones.

2. Free training, low travel costs

All foster carer training is free. We offer a mixed training programme of online and in-person courses, giving you the option to save time and cost by completing courses from home, or meet your team and fellow carers at our training venues.

As a foster carer with National Fostering Group, you can access everything through your Shine account, which helps you book and manage your training.

3. Free financial advice

Our foster carers get free membership of The Fostering Network, which is the UK’s leading fostering charity, connecting the fostering community to make foster care the very best it can be.

As a member, you can access information on income tax and National Insurance, claiming benefits, mortgage advice and explanation on fees, and more. Also, newly approved foster carers are invited to a tax workshop held by us in partnership with The Fostering Network.

4. Discounted entertainment and holidays

As a foster carer, you can save money on family activities like days out and seeing films at your local cinema. The Hub, Max Cards and Blue Light Cards all offer savings on discounted holidays and city breaks too, both in the UK and overseas.

Don’t forget the free activities and events organised by your local fostering agency too. Check out your local agency’s page for more information.

As a foster carer, you can save money on family activities like days out and seeing films at your local cinema. The Max Card and Blue Light all offer savings on discounted holidays and city breaks too.

5. Free activities and experiences for teens

From age 14, your birth and foster children can take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They can learn new skills, gain confidence, make new friends and have amazing experiences.

Young people aged 14-24 can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels, which can lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Activities include helping the community or the environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, completing an expedition and working with a team on a residential activity.

6. Free wellbeing support

Fitness and wellness discounts for foster carers are available via The Hub. Peer support is strong among our fostering communities, from other foster carers, through virtual (online) support groups and in-person activities.

We also offer therapeutic training so you can help support your foster children. We also provide support for your birth children and for you as a family. You also have the reassurance of knowing we’re here for you when you need us, including an 24/7 emergency line.

7. Free access to Britannica School and ImageQuest

When fostering with us, everyone in your family, including your foster child, has access to this brilliant source of information, including ImageQuest, Britannica’s online library of more than two million images.

Searching for information is simple and leads you to the most recent articles as well as archive information and linked facts. All articles and images are verified and safe, ensuring children or young people don’t stumble upon incorrect or unsuitable material whilst researching online.

8. Annual fostering allowance increases

Year on year since 2019, we have applied a percentage increase to all our foster carers’ allowances, and continue to make internal changes, and lobby central and local government to secure a better deal for all our foster carers for the long term.

National Fostering Group is brilliant. My supervising social worker is only ever a text or an email away and I have ongoing training which helps me develop the skills and knowledge I need. And then there is the support from the other carers, too. As a single person, you don’t have someone at home saying well done so it’s great when you meet up with other foster carers and realise you’re doing really well.

Harry, foster carer

Other money saving tips

There’s plenty of energy-saving and money-saving advice on the internet at the moment – just make sure what you’re reading is from a trusted organisation that is genuinely championing your interests.

It’s probably worth taking an hour or two to do a quick check and see how else you can trim your spending. Even small amounts of money add up over time – and it’s better in your pocket.


  • Managing or cancelling online subscriptions
  • Planning meal calendars
  • Switching electrical appliances off when not in use
  • Shopping around for better deals e.g. insurance
  • Switching credit cards for interest-free periods

The consumer champion Which? has recently updated Best ways to save money – a long list of ways you can make your money go further.

Just ask

Check out our full list of perks and benefits. If you’re an existing foster carer and you’d like more details, please ask your supervising social worker.

New foster carers get access information when they’ve been approved by Panel. However, if it feels like an information overload and you need someone to talk you through it, just ask your supervising social worker.

Fostering with National Fostering Group

We are the largest group of independent fostering agencies in the UK, supporting foster carers in all regions of the UK and Northern Ireland. Being so big, we’ve got the resources and the stability that make all the difference.

If you’re new to fostering and wondering if it’s suitable for you, you might like to try our Can I Foster? tool before you get in touch with your local agency.

If you’re currently a foster carer and you’d like to switch to a fostering agency that offers excellent support, a generous fostering allowance, and perks and benefits like those highlighted above, consider transferring to us.

Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.