Fostering Pay and Allowances

foster carer pay and allowances

Tax & Money Blog

We know that the welfare of our children and young people is at the heart of our wonderful foster carers and all the amazing work they do, and we feel it’s important that they be paid fairly and equally.

Open conversation and transparency around pay is really important but can sometimes make people feel a little bit uncomfortable, so we put this blog together to combat some common myths and try to shed some light on money, allowances and benefits you can receive as a foster carer with Fair Ways.  

Do I get paid as a foster carer?

Yes. We treat all of our foster carers as professionals and feel they should be rewarded for the excellent job they do and their commitment to our young people.

Payments are divided into two elements, carer fee and child allowance The child allowance payments are to cover the cost of looking after a child or young person, from clothing to food and living costs whilst the carer fee element is paid to the foster carer for their professional work and skills.

How much pay will I receive?

Similar to other professions, the amount you receive is dependent on a range of factors, including experience, training as well as age and needs of the young person.

A first-time carer with no experience will receive at least £415 per week for each child they look after*.

A level 3 carer with a child aged 11 or older will receive at least £535 per week for each child in their care*, whilst a specialist carer (someone who looks after children with more complex emotional and behavioural needs) will receive at least £698 per week.*

How often will I be paid?

Our foster carers are paid once every fortnight when a child is in placement.

Would I be employed by Fair Ways?

All UK foster carers must be registered as ‘self-employed’ with HMRC and complete a yearly tax return.

As a foster carer, you’ll be entitled to care relief. You will be entitled to an initial £10,000 tax relief and then an additional amount will be added to your threshold for every week there is a child in your care. **

Can I have a job and be a Foster Carer?

Everyone’s personal and professional situation is different, so we assess this on a case-by-case basis. We have a whole host of foster families with one stay at home carer and the other working full or part time, meaning our young people can still benefit from lots of support at home. Fair Ways provides a range of children’s services and so can provide employment opportunities during any periods between foster care placements.

If you live alone and would like to foster and work, we’d recommend doing so on a part-time/respite or emergency basis however, if you’re happy to do this full time, this is most beneficial for our children and young people.

How can I get started?

If you’d like to speak with us about a career in foster care, call us on 02380 230 400 or email

*for children between 11-15 years old

**As a self employed person, carers should ensure they take independent financial advice from a qualified professional on any financial decisions.

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