Fostering Allowances Uncovered: How Much are Foster Carers Paid?

Becoming a foster carer is a hugely rewarding role that can have a significant impact on the life of a vulnerable child. However, before deciding to foster, it’s important to consider practical aspects, such as financial support. 

As a foster carer, you will be entitled to monthly financial support in the form of a fostering allowance. This allowance is designed to ensure that you are always able to cover the costs of caring for a child. 

In this blog, we’ll shed some light on foster carer allowances, including the amount available and how it can be used. 

Understanding foster care allowances 

A fostering allowance is the support foster carers receive when caring for a child. It is designed to cover expenses such as food, clothes, school fees, and travel. 

Depending on the service you were approved with, you will either receive your fostering allowance from an independent fostering agency (IFA) or a local authority (LA). 

The flexibility of how your allowance is used will also be influenced by the service you are fostering through. For example, you may be allowed to allocate your allowance to enriching experiences and items, such as extracurricular activities, outings, and gifts. We advise checking with your service to clarify how the allowance may be used.

How much do foster carers get paid?

For foster carers, the UK government provides a minimum payment of between £165 and £289 per week. However, the total amount you are entitled to may vary depending on several factors, such as your location, the fostering service you use, the age of the child you are fostering, whether the child has specific needs, and your skills and experience.

If you are unsure of the amount you are entitled to, your service will be able to provide more information.  

Benefits of foster care beyond financial support 

While, yes, foster carers do get paid, there are myriad other benefits to being a foster carer, including:

Making a difference in a child’s life 

By far, the most significant benefit of being a foster carer is the positive impact you have on a child’s life – the effects of which will last a lifetime. By providing a safe and secure home, you can help someone feel loved, supported, and valued, allowing them to heal and thrive. 

Personal fulfilment 

Following on from our previous point, fostering is an experience that can give you an incredible sense of fulfilment. There’s something special about knowing that you played an important part in giving a child an opportunity for a brighter future. 

Gaining valuable experience 

When it comes to fostering, it is important to understand that every child is unique, particularly as they have experienced trauma or difficult life circumstances. While this means that caring for a child can be challenging at times, it also presents an opportunity for personal growth, allowing you to practise patience and understanding.  

Expanding your family circle 

Fostering opens doors to new connections, whether it’s forming bonds with children in your care, working with social workers and support staff, or connecting with other foster carers, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a network of similarly minded, caring individuals. 

Becoming part of a supportive network

As a foster carer, you’ll never have to face the challenges or successes of your role alone.

Becoming a foster carer means being a part of a supportive community of carers who also understand the struggles and rewards of fostering first-hand. 

Through shared experiences and ongoing support, you’ll have access to a network that helps you to navigate the complexities of fostering with confidence. 

How to get involved with foster care

At Children Always First, we’re committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children and young people in care. 

Our team of dedicated professionals are on hand to provide expert support and resources to ensure that foster carers are equipped to navigate the complexities of fostering and create a nurturing environment where children can thrive.   

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, or if you’ve got questions and want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch [Link] with our team today.