A third of people are unaware that foster carers receive financial support and believe that you need to be in full-time employment.
In fact, foster carers receive a weekly allowance that covers the costs of the foster child’s needs as well as compensating the foster carer for their professional skills and care.
Let’s look at this in more detail.
Foster carers in work
There are some restrictions around working outside of the home if you’re a foster carer.
- In a couple, one of you can work full-time and one part-time/flexible
- As a single foster carer, you can have part-time employment
- You don’t have to work, you can just foster as a full-time role
At National Fostering Group, we ask that couples arrange their working hours so that one carer can be available full time, and single foster carers be at home full time or have flexible, part-time employment.
Other private fostering agencies will ask for at least one person in a couple to give up work to become a full time carer. But if you can be flexible in order to accommodate the needs of the child, as well as contact, attending school and social work meetings and reviews, then we’re happy for you to continue working to a certain degree.
The fostering allowance
As the largest of the UK’s fostering agencies, we offer a generous fostering allowance to make your financial situation more secure and ensure both the fostered child and foster family can live comfortably.
- Covers the varied needs of each foster child
- Allows foster children, carers and their families to have a good standard of living
- Is usually tax-free – no complicated tax returns to do or tax to pay
- Doesn’t impact on state benefits like housing benefit, pensions or Working Tax Credit
We do not pay fostering allowance when there is no child in placement, but we do provide Bridging Retainer Payments under certain circumstances to give you more financial stability.