Foster Care Pay

Foster parents and potential foster carers sometimes say they feel uncomfortable and awkward asking about foster care pay and money.

Here at Foster for Staffordshire, we would like to reassure you that it’s fine to ask about foster care pay and allowances, as it’s an important part of the fostering process.

That’s why we thought we’d take this opportunity to answer some of the important questions around foster care pay, and answer specific questions about the Foster for Staffordshire fostering payments system.

Some of our foster carers give up their jobs to care for children, so the foster care pay they receive is to support them and their household.

Whilst money is never the main motivation for people to become foster carers, our foster carers perform a really important role, so they need the money they receive in order to perform their role to the best of their ability.

If you’re thinking about becoming a forestry parent, this page will help explain the monetary side of foster care.

Do you get paid for fostering?

In short, yes - you do get paid for fostering a young person or child.

The Payment for Skills scheme was introduced in 2001 and is designed to recognise the range of knowledge; competency and experience that foster carers possess, with carers paid an additional fee for each child in placement by reference to their skills level.

During your assessment your skills and experience will be assessed and the level you start on will be discussed.

How much do you get for fostering?

The amount of money you receive for being a Foster for Staffordshire foster carer depends on many factors, such as your level or experience and expertise, the type of foster care you’ll be helping us with, and the age of the child/young person you’re fostering.

Level 1 foster carer pay

As a Level 1 foster carer, you will be an entry level foster carer, and you will receive between £132.30 & 198.80 per week.

 As a foster carer, you support improving the outcomes for children.

Following the first twelve months of fostering, carers are eligible for applying for Level 2 skills payments.

Level 2 foster carer pay

As a foster carer you complete a set of standards and produce a portfolio which evidences your skills and experience.

As a new foster carer if you complete Standard 6 of the TSD Standards and complete the Foundations to Fostering training during your assessment, then you may be able to commence fostering at Level 2.

 A Level 2 foster carer will receive between £177.73 & £283.29 per week.

Level 3 foster carer pay

If you have relevant professional childcare experience or have experience of working with vulnerable children, then you can be considered to commence fostering at Level 3.

 A Level 3 foster carer receives between £243.11 & £388.78 per week.

Level 4 foster carer pay

In order to progress to being a Level 4 foster carer, you’ll need to keep a CPD portfolio, attend and contribute to support groups, support foster carer recruitment and be prepared to care for children with specialised and complex care arrangements.

 As a Level 4 foster carer, you’ll receive between £443.80 & £532.84 per week.

Tax arrangements when you become a foster carer

When you become a foster carer, you’ll need to register as self-employed and file tax returns.

 You’ll also become entitled to qualifying care relief, which means you will:

  • Earn £10,000 from fostering before you have to pay tax
  • Get tax relief for every week you foster a child

 There’s more information about paying tax as a foster parent in the guide for foster parents on the UK Government website.

How fostering payments work

We want you to feel financially secure when you’re a Foster for Staffordshire foster carer, so you can focus your attention on providing care for your foster child, as well as enjoying a great quality of life.

Here are some important things to remember about foster carer payments:

  • You probably won’t pay any tax on your fostering allowance
  • Most state benefits are not affected by your fostering allowance
  • You’ll need to register as self-employed and pay National Insurance Contributions
  • You may be entitled to Working Tax Credit and other state benefits

 What your foster care pay covers

The payment you receive for being a Foster for Staffordshire foster carer has 2 components – your weekly allowance and your weekly fee.

Weekly allowance for foster carers

The weekly allowance stays constant no matter what level of foster carer you are, which aims to cover the costs you will need to look after the young person/child you are taking care of.

 This amount increases depending on the age of the young person/child you are looking after.

 Weekly fee for foster carers

The weekly fee we provide for our foster carers increases depending on which level the foster carer is.

For example, a Level 2 foster carer receives between £45.43 & £53.76 in weekly fees, and our Level 4 foster carers receive between £294.77 & £334.04 in weekly fees.

Already an approved foster carer?

We’re happy to discuss your individual circumstances if you decide you want to transfer to us based on your experience and skills, and we’ll also match what your current foster agency is paying you.

Visit our transfer to us page for more information about changing your foster agency to Foster for Staffordshire.

Thinking about fostering?

If you have any questions about the payment for skills scheme or are unsure what level you might start at please contact the team and we’d be happy to discuss further with you please email fosteringandadoptionbus@staffordshire.gov.uk, call 0800 169 2061 or complete our online enquiry form today.

If you would like to discover more information about Foster for Staffordshire foster payments, download our skills scheme document to find out more.