This is a really important question for everyone thinking about becoming a foster carer. You need to know if you can be financially stable as a foster carer, especially as you’ll be self-employed.
We’ve got plenty of information in the finances section of our website, but here’s an overview.
Some facts about foster carer pay
- Around 3,000 National Fostering Group foster carers receive a fostering allowance that they are able to live off
- The average fostering allowance we pay is in the region of £22,000 a year. Some types of fostering placement pay more than £35,000 a year
- Our foster carers enjoy a pay increase every year
- For almost all foster carers, foster carer pay (fostering allowance) is tax-free
- We support our foster carers with bridging retainer payments between fostering placements
- Our foster carers have access to a range of additional perks and benefits, like high street discounts and cinema ticket discounts
- Certain types of fostering placement pay more than others, giving you the opportunity to specialise and be remunerated accordingly
- Free training and experience may also bring opportunities to earn more as a foster carer by taking more challenging placements and be remunerated accordingly
- As a self-employed foster carer, you will be required to pay National Insurance Contributions unless you have retired
- Your fostering allowance does not affect state benefits you are currently receiving like housing benefit or a pension
Can you continue working?
There are conditions attached to full-time work outside the house.
- If you’re single, you’ll need to be at home full-time or have a flexible, part-time job
- If you’re a couple, you’ll need to arrange your working hours so one of you is available at all times
Our approach to the fostering allowance
Our aim is to offer financial support to our foster carers that allows them to be free of worry about money and able to focus on the well-being of their foster child and their own family.
We also strongly believe that our carers do a brilliant job, often under difficult circumstances. While we know they do it because they genuinely care, we think it’s important to show appreciation for their effort and skill.
Foster carer pay: Paul’s experience
Paul and his partner transferred to National Fostering Group a few years ago.
Previously, they had been at another independent fostering agency, which was paying them a significantly lower fostering allowance.
“We love what we do and would never see ourselves doing anything different.
“However, my wife gave up a full time job as a teacher to be the main foster carer. Therefore, it was important to us to know we would receive a fostering allowance that would allow us to provide a stable environment for a child.”
Foster carer pay: Lee’s experience
Lee and his partner found that experience and training have increased that they are paid as foster carers.
“With the fostering allowance, you can work your way up to different levels. The more training and experience you have, the more you see an increase in your weekly allowance.
“We like this system, as it shows we are being rewarded for our loyalty, skills and experience.”
Got questions about foster carer pay?
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer and you’ve got questions about the money side of things, get in touch.
Your local team is more than happy to talk through all your questions so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to proceed with your foster care application.