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Foster Carer Pay, Allowances & Benefits

Pay and benefits for Foster Carers. 

Opening up your hearts and home to foster a child is a great and truly rewarding experience. You get to be part of a child's journey, creating memories in their own life story and changing their life for the better.


We recognise that making the decision to foster will allow you to make a great difference to young people who deserve a home while we support you 24/7. We understand fostering can be demanding at times and requires a full-time commitment, which is why we pay our foster carers a generous fostering allowance that helps to support the foster child while also acting as a reward for the carer, allowing them to focus on providing the best possible care to their foster child. 

What will the allowance cover?

Your fostering allowance is two payments in one. One part covers your foster child(ren)'s living expenses, such as food, clothing, school uniform, school day trips, toiletries, entertainment costs and savings. It should also cover expenses such as heating and lighting. Your Empower Fostering social worker will explain this in more detail, but to reassure you, you will receive a generous fee whilst fostering with Empower Fostering. 

Do I have to pay Tax and NI when I foster?

All foster carers are classed as self-employed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and you'll earn weekly fostering allowance for each child or young person you look after. So when you become a Foster Carer, one of your first jobs will be registering yourself as 'self-employed'. 

Once you're registered, you are automatically registered for Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. 

The HMRC holds regular 'webinars' to explain tax and NI contributions for Foster Carers, which are popular and useful. They are easy to understand and will explain everything clearly. You can sign up to as many webinars as you wish and there is a support service for any questions. 

How much do Foster Carers get paid?

Newly Approved Foster Carer

Up to £470 per week

Experienced Specialist Foster Carer with all training 

Up to £742 per week

Parent & Child Placement

Up to £848 per week

Sibling Group 

Up to £900 per week

Tax Benefits

Foster Carers are often exempt from paying income tax on their fostering allowance in accordance with the government's Qualifying Care Relief. 

Click here to find out more.

Qualifying amounts

Part 1 

A tax exemption of up to £18,140 per household each year. 

Part 2

A weekly amount for each cared for child or adult.

£375 per child for children under 11.

£450 for children aged 11 or over.

Change your career. Change your lifestyle. Change a life.
Foster with Empower Fostering, part of the Empower Family Group.

Why choose Empower Fostering?

You have the drive and commitment to change lives. We'll provide the practical support to help you achieve that.
Foster with us and you'll receive the following:

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Support - We're here, by your side, with unrivaled support, available 24/7, 365 days a year. With support hubs so you can connect with other Foster Carers as part of our Empower Fostering Family.

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Career - Enjoy a rewarding career whilst changing a child or young persons life. 

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Income - You will receive a competitve weekly fostering allowance, tax exemption and tax relief.

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Training - Comprehensive, ongoing training to support the challenges and success of fostering. With access to Diplomas and NVQ Qualifications.

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Community - We host multiple events, support groups and fun activities throughout the year as part of our fostering family. 

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Holidays - To look after others, you must look after yourself; minimum of 14 days paid respite helps you recharge. 

  • Can I foster if I am single?
    Yes, of course you can. Anyone can foster as long as they are able to demonstrate that they have the skills and capacity to care for a child. You need to be resilient, kind and have a support network around you.
  • How long does it take to become a Foster Carer?
    The length of time for assessments varies depending on individual circumstances. However, we complete assessments within three to five months on average.
  • Do I have to have a spare room?
    Yes, you do need to have a spare room. All children must have a room of their own unless they are a sibling group and the social worker agrees that they can share a room.
  • I am over 60 can I still apply?
    We welcome applications from individuals of any age and there is no upper age limit! Everyone who applies will have a medical with their GP and as long as you are physically and emotionally fit enough to support a child/young people, then age is not an issue.
  • I have a criminal record can I still foster?
    It's important that you let us know about any criminal records you may have. A previous conviction will not necessarily preclude you from fostering. Much will depend on the nature of the offence and when it occurred. We will carry out an enhanced DBS check on everyone who applied and would ask that you are open and honest from the start with any convictions. This way we can assess whether you can continue on the assessment journey.
  • What training will I receive?
    We have a full and varied training program. Some of this is online and some face to face. As part of your assessment we will run workshops on top of your 'Skills to Foster' course. Again, these will be both face to face and virtual depending on the need at the time. We will try to be flexible and ensure that this fits around your life and young people. We are here to support you with your training.
  • What Support can I get?
    When you become an approved Foster Carer with Empower Fostering, you will be allocated a supervising social worker to meet with you once a fortnight to discuss how the child/young person is progressing. You will also be able to speak to a team member seven days a week, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. In addition, there are support meetings with other Foster Carers in your area.
  • What training and learning opportunities are available?
    After completing your 'Skills to Foster' course and becoming an approved carer, there will be planned learning opportunities available throughout the year, covering topics such as 'keeping children safe', 'managing behavior', 'developing self-esteem in children' and 'promoting good health'.
  • How do I become a Foster Carer?
    You will receive advice and information from one of our team members during your initial phone contact. When you are ready, you will be assigned a dedicated assessor who will visit you and assist you throughout the process. A referee, medical, and DBS check will be done, and you will be asked to undergo a 'Skills to Foster' training session. The assessment procedure typically takes 4-6 months.
  • What Happens at an Initial Home Visit?
    One of our team members will visit your house for a casual talk on looking after small children and young people. We'll discuss the process of becoming a Foster Carer, offer book and research recommendations, and go over your responsibilities as a Foster Carer.
  • How do you match a child or young person with Foster Carers?
    We carefully match Foster Carers with children. During the assessment process, we will get a better understanding of what would work for you and your home, which will help us make the right matches.
  • Do I have any say in the child or young person placed with me?
    Yes. The matching process is fundamental for you and the child or young person. We will match the needs and requirements of the child or young person with what you can offer. This will be discussed with you in-depth during your assessment.
  • Can you foster if you are in debt?
    If you have debt, you are not necessarily disqualified to foster. This would be examined during the fostering assessment and approval process because each person's circumstance differs. Do not be worried that your debt will prevent you from becoming a Foster Carer. To learn more, get in touch with us for a completely private and informal chat.
  • Can I get a mortgage as a Foster Carer?
    Yes! There are several mortgage lenders that will allow you use your entire fostering income, and there are even specific mortgage lenders and products made only for foster carers.
  • Can you be a Foster Carer if you live in affordable housing?
    Certainly, being a resident of affordable housing does not stop you from wishing to foster.
  • Do you get paid per family or per child when fostering?
    Typically, the foster allowance is determined by how many children or young people you are looking after.

Ready to talk about fostering?
Get in touch with us today for a friendly chat. 

01823 756 100  |

Unit 2 Prockters Farm Offices, West Monkton, Taunton Somerset, TA2 8QN

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