How much are the foster care payments?
Our carers start at a basic weekly fostering allowance of £360 per week, per child in care. Upon completion of their TDS training (which we aim to do within one year of being approved), the basic allowance rises to £380 per week. Depending on the needs of the child and their circumstances, additional allowances are available which can increase the allowance to £570 per week. This is also effectively tax free!
What do the payments cover?
The payment to carers is provided to cover Household costs, food, clothes, travel, school dinners and any other things required to look after a foster child. The payment takes into account the fact that foster care for children cost more than caring for birth children.
Being a foster carer is no longer seen as a voluntary service. In order to recruit and retain carers, they need to be sufficiently funded to ensure the young person in care gets all the opportunities they would otherwise. Little Acorns provide fostering allowances to enable foster carers to care for children and young people on a full-time basis.
Foster carers in the UK generally do not pay tax on their fostering income, up to a maximum of £10,000 per placement, plus fostering allowances.
National Insurance contributions
Carers are entitled to Home Responsibility Protection – a way to make sure that you do not get less Basic Retirement Pension, because you decided to look after children at home.
In receipt of Benefits?
Any payments paid to foster carers for fostering, is generally not included, and does not effect Benefits. However, this will not be the case if you are treated for Tax and National Insurance purposes as though you were self-employed, IF YOU ARE, contact your local Benefits office for advice.
As a foster carer, you will not be able to claim Child Tax Credit or Child Benefit for a child if you are in receipt of a fostering allowance. However you may be able to claim Working Tax Credit if you are receiving the reward element and you are treated as self employed. If you are putting in a claim for this, seek professional advice first.
Foster carers may be in a position to claim any of the following benefits:
Income-Based Job seeker’s Allowance
Council Tax Benefit
Disability Living Allowance
Working Tax Credits