Little Acorns recognises the challenges of the fostering task and the vital role that our foster carers play within the communities they live in.

We therefore firmly believe in treating our foster carers as child care professionals and making sure they have all the right resources including an allowance to fulfil the task.

The allowance starts at £360 per week per child in placement for a newly approved carer rising according to the experience of the carer and the complexity of the placement.

The allowances cover aspects such as Food, Clothing, Toiletries, Pocket money/savings, Christmas, Birthday or other festival presents, Leisure activities, including holidays and transport within a reasonable radius for journeys such as schooling and contact with their birth families

Little Acorns pays considerably more than the Government recommended allowance to ensure that our carers have everything they need to deliver the safe and nurturing environment that all children deserve.

Foster carers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes. There is a simplified income tax scheme for foster carers, sometimes referred to as ‘foster care relief’; from April 2010 onwards it will be called ‘qualifying care relief’. The scheme uses an income threshold to determine how much tax, if any, is due.

Anyone who is self-employed must register to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. Where foster care is the only source of self-employed income and taxable profit is low, a foster carer may apply for the Small Earnings Exception.

Further information about tax and national insurance is available on HM Review and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/hs236.pdf