For most carers, the desire to contribute to the life of a young person who need support, nurturing and understanding is their prime motivation.
Placing a child’s needs first and making the home a safe, caring space where they can be themselves is the most rewarding experience that foster caring can offer.
However, Alpha Plus Fostering also makes sure its carers are well paid for the work they do; for some families fostering makes both emotional and financial sense.
Carers receive a minimum starting allowance per week of £390 for each child or young person they foster, which covers food, clothing, travel and leisure activities.
At Alpha we provide guidance on what you will need to spend your allowance on to give your foster placement the best chance of a balanced life.
Because we not only value the foster child in your care, but we also value your time, expertise, patience and compassion, the allowance can help you with your own household finances.
The role of a foster carer doesn’t come with a salary, but it is still an important, full time job and the funding reflects the time and commitment carers give. In addition to the allowance, there are tax exemptions available for carers. The government has set a threshold for foster carers on lower incomes and many pay no income tax on their allowance.
Some carers with multiple placements might find their income is above the tax exemption, but this is normally the exception to the rule.
The government views foster carers as self-employed; this means that if you are liable for tax, you will have to complete a self-assessment form. It does not necessarily disqualify you from tax credits and other forms of benefits as these will be calculated alongside your annual income.
At Alpha Plus Fostering, we truly believe that fostering can work for both you and your foster placement and whilst it is personally rewarding in countless ways, it also pays financially too.