Help with the cost of fostering

All foster parents receive a foster care allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child.

The minimum is usually between £132 and £231 a week. The total amount you get depends on:

  • where you live
  • which fostering service you use
  • the child’s age
  • if the child has specific needs
  • your skills and experience

The fostering service you apply to will tell you how much you can get.

There’s more information about financial help in the guide for foster parents.

Tax arrangements when you foster

When you start fostering, you’ll need to register as self-employed and file tax returns.

You’ll also be entitled to qualifying care relief which means you’ll:

  • 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 in the guide for foster parents.

Claiming benefits

Being a foster parent can affect the benefits you get. If you’re claiming benefits you’ll need to tell the organisation that pays you that you’re also getting foster care allowance.

Use a benefits calculator to check what benefits you’re eligible for.

For more help on how your benefits may change, contact:

  • the organisation that pays you
  • Fosterline - a free fostering advice service