Foster carers

2. Help with the cost of fostering

Foster carers get an allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child.

Minimum weekly allowance - 2017 to 2018

  Babies Pre-primary Primary 11 to 15 16 to 17
London £144 £147 £165 £187 £219
South East £138 £142 £158 £179 £211
Rest of England £125 £128 £141 £161 £188

The rates are updated every April.

You could get more if:

  • the child has specific needs
  • you have certain skills
  • you make a particularly large commitment to fostering

Tax-free earnings

Tax exemption

There’s a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year (less if for a shorter period) 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 (after expenses) you make from fostering.

Tax relief

On top of the £10,000 exemption, you also get tax relief for every week (or part week) that a child is in your care. This means you don’t have to pay tax on some of your earnings over £10,000.

Age of child Tax relief
Under 11 £200 per child
Over 11 £250 per child


Laura is a foster carer for a 14-year-old for the whole of the year and for an 8-year-old for 10 weeks of the year. She doesn’t have to pay tax on the first £25,000 she earns:

Tax exemption = £10,000
Child 1 (52 x £250) = £13,000
Child 2 (10 x £200) = £2,000

Total = £25,000


If you foster, you’ll be eligible for National Insurance credits, which counts towards your State Pension.

Fostering for Adoption

If you’re Fostering for Adoption you’ll be entitled to adoption pay and leave from when the child comes to live with you.