Many people who want to foster do so because they want to make a difference in the lives of children and young people. But, one of the first questions many prospective foster parents have is how much they will get paid for their services. As a foster carer, can you bring in enough money to make it a viable career choice?
The short answer is “yes.” While the emotional rewards of foster care are incomparable, there are also financial benefits. Keep in mind that being a foster parent is different from working outside the home; as a foster parent, you're rarely ever away from work. Learn more about how much you can get paid for fostering today.
Foster Care Pay – for UK carers
Foster carers' weekly pay varies depending on a number of factors, such as:
- The needs of the child or young person in your care
- The age of your foster placement and the geographical area you are fostering in.
- Whether you are fostering with a local authority or an independent fostering agency. Independent agencies often have more budget to pay their care team members larger weekly amounts than local authorities can afford.
How much can I earn as a foster carer in the UK?
This weekly fostering income is split into two distinct parts:
The first cost helps foster carers with transportation, food, clothing, and other incidentals for the foster placement. This is normally between £130-200 per child. The second part is a bonus given to the carer for their excellent work in fostering services.
At SussexFostering, our fostering pay weekly rates are as follows:
Parent and child placements – approx. £700 per week
Therapeutic placements – approx. £500 to £600 per week
Standard placements – over £400 per week*
*except for the youngest children - these are rare.
New carers who offer therapeutic or parent and child placements can make a yearly income of over £26,000 (with £23,000 being tax-free).
Do foster parents have to pay tax?
As self-employed professionals, foster carers are eligible to claim income tax relief benefits. This means that in a year, single foster parents with one placement will not pay any taxes on the money received for that placement – and those with two or more children need only pay a small amount.