Allowance and benefits

At Fitzgerald Fostering we recognise the importance of supporting our foster carers. We want to help our foster carers focus on caring for the children living with them so that they can achieve their full potential.

As part of our comprehensive package of support for foster carers we recognise the importance of appropriate financial support. Therefore, we pay our foster carers a weekly fostering allowance that is made up of a day to day living allowance for the child and a professional fee for the foster carer(s).

How much do foster parents get paid?

How much fostering allowance a foster carer receives depends on several factors including: the age of the children being looked after; the number of children being looked after; and the needs of the children being looked after.

On average foster carers for Fitzgerald Fostering receive £420 per week for every child in their care. However, because most of our foster carers look after more than one child the actual weekly average allowance received by our foster carers is more than £700 per week. This is well above the national minimum rates set out by the government.

Fostering allowances are paid every four weeks into the foster carers nominated bank account and the day to day living element of the weekly fostering allowance is designed to cover the full cost of caring for a child.

For certain types of placements, such as situations where parents are placed alongside their children, higher fostering rates would apply.

Fostering Allowance and Tax

Foster carers are treated as self-employed and must register as such with HMRC. A foster carers allowance is considered taxable income but there are tax schemes that apply to foster carers that mean that some of this allowance can be tax free.

Foster carers can claim a tax exemption of up to £18,140 per year in conjunction with tax relief for every week they foster a child. In practice this means foster carers do not have to pay tax on the first £18,140 they earn from fostering. Whilst the additional tax relief means you do not pay tax on some of the earnings above that first £18,140. For a child under the age of 11 years the rate of tax relief is £375 per week, and for 11 years and over it is £450. More detailed information can be found at HMRC.

Therefore, as an example, if you had two children aged 9 years and 12 years placed with you as foster carers for the entire 52 weeks of a financial year you would not have to pay tax on the first £61,040 you received in fostering allowances.

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