Questions about fostering allowance and payments

Some frequently asked questions

As a foster carer for Foster for East Midlands, you'll be paid by the local authority you work for. The amount you receive will be based on the number of children and young people in your care and other factors such as their needs and age, as well as your skills and experience.

The fostering allowance is for the care of the child, to cover food, utility costs, clothing, transport, recreational costs etc. Skills payments are also paid in recognition of your experience and training, as well as sometimes the complexity of the support required.

Read more on the fees and allowances page.

Celebrating birthdays, religious holidays and going on outings during the school holidays are important experiences for children and young people.

Read more on the fees and allowances page.

Almost all income from fostering is exempt from tax, thanks to Qualifying Care Relief from the Government to support foster carers. The Qualifying Care Relief (2023) gives households a tax exemption on the first £18,140 they earn from fostering.

You also get tax relief for each week or part week a child is in your care, reducing the tax paid on any fostering earnings above this amount.

As a foster carer, whether you work for the local authority or an agency, you are classed as self-employed and will need to register with HMRC.

We value the vital and professional contribution our foster carers make. We offer competitive pay as we want you to be able to focus on meeting the needs of the children in your care.

We appreciate that many individuals and couples decide to give up work or reduce work outside the home to become foster carers. Qualifying Care Relief can make fostering a more affordable option for these families.

We understand that everyone's financial situation is different. We’re here to help and welcome questions about pay and allowances. Please get in touch to chat about your circumstances, the financial implications of fostering and the different types of fostering.

If you are receiving benefits, you will not automatically lose those benefits if you become a foster carer, unless you are claiming job seekers allowance. You would not receive child benefit for children staying with you but you will receive a fostering allowance for their care. However, your fostering income should not stop you from receiving housing benefit or impact the child benefit you receive for adopted or birth children in your family.

There is no typical fostering household. Sometimes foster carers choose to leave other jobs or reduce their hours to focus on being a foster carer. Some apply to foster after retiring. In some fostering families, one partner works outside the house full-time or part-time. Where individual circumstances allow, foster carers can and do keep their current jobs alongside fostering. To find out if this could be an option for you, we would encourage you to discuss this at the beginning of the assessment process.

What's important is that you can meet the needs of the children and young people in your care. The fostering assessment will consider how you can do this alongside any existing commitments and what types of fostering would be suitable for you.  You would work alongside your assessing social worker to agree what works best for you and your situation.