Help with the cost of fostering

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

Minimum weekly allowance - 2018 to 2019

Babies Pre-primary Primary 11 to 15 16 to 17
London £146 £149 £168 £190 £222
South East £140 £144 £160 £182 £214
Rest of England £127 £130 £143 £164 £191

Minimum weekly allowance - 2019 to 2020

Babies Pre-primary Primary 11 to 15 16 to 17
London £149 £152 £171 £193 £226
South East £143 £147 £163 £185 £218
Rest of England £129 £132 £146 £167 £194

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 do not have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income 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 do not 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

Example

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 does not 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

Pensions

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.