As a foster carer, you are entitled to fees and allowances, tax relief, and National Insurance credits. Very few if any, go into fostering for the financial reward but these financial payments are intended to cover the cost of caring for children as well as a way to recognise your time and effort.
Fees and allowances vary depending on the age and needs of the looked after young person and are paid per child per week. The payment can add up to an income that equals a well-paying full-time career. While there are recommended rates regarding the amount of the allowance provided, local authorities and agencies such as Welcome Foster Care set their own rates of pay. Welcome’s allowance is very competitive.
We have recently started a training programme to enable most new carers to offer therapeutic placements and allowances for those carers will be over £500 per week. We are responding to a recent strong increase in demand for this sort of placement. Our allowances for parent and child placements are £620 per week. Allowances including respite for other placements vary depending on the age and needs of the child and for most carers will be in the region of £400.
Above and beyond the fostering allowance, there are fees, which are based on the youngster’s needs as well as the foster parent’s special skills, abilities, and experience. The money you receive as an allowance is intended to defray the cost of providing for your additional family member for as long as he or she is with you. Any additional fee paid to you is to cover the special needs the young person may have.
Carers are classed as self-employed, and as a self-employed person, you should register with HMRC. Your household is allowed a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 a year. This exemption is worked out pro rata to the amount of time you were a carer for the year.
You are also eligible for tax relief per week per child, beyond the £10,000 exemption. This figure is £200 weekly for each child under the age of 11 and £250 for each young person 11 and over. When filing annual taxes, you may also be eligible for National Insurance credits, class 1 and class 3.
We believe that our fostering payments are very generous. We are aware that it is impossible to place a monetary value on the work that carers undertake on a day-to-day basis. It is important to us that you are provided every possible opportunity to have a stress-free experience in providing the type of home that can transform a young person’s life.
Welcome provides excellent free training and local support that really makes a difference to you and the young person you care for. We want you to have personal and positive benefits from working as part of our team.
For more information about fostering payments or any other aspect of fostering, call us now on 020 3397 3332.