How much are the foster care payments?

Our carers start at a basic weekly fostering allowance of £365 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 £385 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. Parent and Child fostering starts at £600 per week.

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.

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.

Tax relief

Fostering is classed as self-employment and there are generous tax allowances available to help. The important thing to remember is that each individual’s financial circumstances are different.

As a foster carer, you are given a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year, on top of your standard personal allowance of £11,500 which means you have a total fixed tax allowance of £21,500.

In addition, you also receive further tax-free exemptions of;

  • £200 per week for child placements under the age of 11
  • £250 per week for child placements aged 11 or over

These payments are in addition to your basic tax-free allowance.

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 affect 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 Support

Income-Based Job seeker’s Allowance

Housing Benefit

Council Tax Benefit

Disability Living Allowance

Working Tax Credits