How much is the fostering allowance?

We’re often asked ‘How much do foster parents get paid?’ The total fostering allowance that you receive will vary based on a number of factors, including the type of foster care you are providing, the number or children that you care for and their age, as well as the complexity of their needs.

Here are some examples of the fees you could expect to receive based on four fostering scenarios:

How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid? Our foster carer pay is competitive. Here are examples of our fostering allowances, including foster care holiday allowance.

As a foster carer, you are paid on a fortnightly basis, while you have a child in placement. It is important to consider that you will not be paid any fees or allowances for any period that you do not have a child in placement.

What does the fostering allowance cover?

The payment you receive from TACT will be made up of two elements:

  • The maintenance allowance for each child you care for
  • The foster carer fee

The maintenance allowance covers the costs of everything that you need to care for a child such as food, clothing, transport, personal items and household expenses. The fee part of the payment is effectively your salary for the time and skill dedicated to foster caring.

Are there any additional payments?

In addition to the weekly fees, TACT foster carers receive extra payments to help cover the cost of significant events that occur while children are in placement. We know that special occasions such as religious festivals (e.g. Eid, Diwali, Christmas etc.), the child’s birthday and summer holidays can be expensive, as such if you have children in placement over these events you will receive an additional payment to help cover the costs.

You will receive £150* per child, to help celebrate their birthday(s). Likewise, another payment of £150* per child will be made to celebrate an annual religious festival. You will also receive £91 per week* (for up to 6 weeks) summer foster care holiday allowance for each child in your care.

*Additional fees are paid if a child is placed with you over these periods.

The weekly fee examples above include these additional payments (pro rata), to give an average payment that you would receive over a year period.

Do I pay tax on fostering pay?

As a foster carer you are classed as self-employed. However, your earnings will be subject to special tax arrangements which in most cases mean that you will pay very low, if any tax on your income from fostering.

Here are the main points about foster carer pay:

  • There’s a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year which is shared equally among any foster carers in the same household. This means you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income you receive from fostering.
  • Your income is calculated after expenses, which means in most cases it is only the foster carer fee element that is taken into account in the tax calculations.
  • You also get tax relief of up to £250 per week for each child in your care. This means if you have a child over the age of 11 in your care for a whole year you wouldn’t pay tax on your earnings up to £23,000.
  • If you currently receive benefits, these may still be paid alongside your fostering payments. For further information about working out your taxable income and eligibility for claiming working tax credit, visit the page Help With The Cost Of Fostering.

*Please note that the minimum fostering allowance rates are quoted here. TACT pays foster carers a more competitive fee than what is stated on the website.