Children Always First pays very competitive fees and allowances to all of our carers. However, we do not try to compete as the best payer, so if money is your major motivation then we are probably not the best agency for you. We aim to pay 5% above average.
Getting the balance right is critical in ensuring we continue to receive a steady stream of referrals (by keeping prices low) whilst making sure that once placed children receive the best possible levels of support (by making funds available).
Our fees are still generous by any standards and above the industry average. You can expect to receive between £19,500 and £33,345 per child per year and should be aware that these fees are treated very generously by HMRC and very little tax is payable. Small discounts may be applicable if you have more than one child but, with an approval of two, you could expect your net income from fostering to at least replicate what you would receive in a professional job (@£40000 gross per year). That is why we expect our carers to operate as professionals and really work hard on maximising each child’s life opportunities.
It goes without saying, you will receive all your training and carer support group expenses. However, you need to remain aware that if you do not have a child in placement you will not receive any income which is precisely why we keep our charges to Local Authorities as low as we can. Due to ongoing austerity measures and increasing demand for services Local Authorities have to make tough decisions. Sometimes the cost of a service has to be taken into account, often before focusing on the quality of care for the child. You will not have that worry with us as we are priced 5% below the industry average.
As stated because we pay good professional fees we expect our carers to attend all meetings and training in addition to looking after the child/children. We also expect carers to support our Activity programmes and social events. We treat and reward our carers as professionals and we consequently have high expectations.
Should the agency become profitable in the future we intend to utilise any excess moneys in supporting any young people who have been fostered with us and , or, charitable causes. Ultimately we aspire to let our young people decide how any surplus is used.