Foster parent payments vary depending on the agency or local authority. Our foster parents typically receive a £26,000 fostering allowance per year for each child – and £29,000 if they’re based in London – most of which is tax-free.
In addition, they also receive a variety of benefits, such as a holiday and summer activity allowance, special events and gifts, and access to our exclusive rewards platform, where they can find hundreds of incredible discounts on family experiences and stores across the UK.
How much are you paid for fostering?
Foster carer pay varies depending on the independent fostering agency or local authority you choose. We pay our foster parents around £500 per week for a child in care, depending on their level of experience and training.
When you first join ISP, you’ll start on the core payment tier, unless you transfer as an experienced foster parent from another agency or local authority. Once the core training has been completed and you’ve completed 12 months of fostering, you’ll be rewarded with a higher professional allowance.
We also offer the chance to progress further to our senior payment tier, through the completion of further training, including an NVQ3 or QCF Level 3 Health and Social Care.
What does the fostering payment cover?
The weekly fostering payment covers the cost of caring for a child, including food, clothing, utilities, transport, pocket money, outings and activities.
It also provides foster parents with a professional fee to reward them for their hard work and commitment to caring for a vulnerable child.
Our Payment Tiers
You'll start your fostering career with ISP on our core payment tier until you've completed 12 months of fostering and your core training.
You'll receive £438.83 per week, per child.
If you live in London, you'll receive £482.81 per week, per child.
Once you've completed 12 months of fostering and all of your core training, you'll receive our Main payment tier.
You'll receive £501.55 per week, per child.
If you live in London, you'll receive £551.60 per week, per child.
You can progress to our Senior payment tier once you've further training, including an NVQ3 or QFC Level 3 in Health and Social Care. This can be discussed with your supervising social worker.
You'll receive £526.64 per week, per child.
If you live in London, you'll receive £579.25 per week, per child.
Holidays are a normal part of family life and can provide so many great memories to a foster child, as well as helping them to feel like a valued member of the family. We encourage our foster parents to take children away for a minimum of 5 nights and provide an allowance to help cover the costs.
Summer activity allowance
This allowance helps to cover the cost of fun activities over summer to help a child’s personal development and general wellbeing. Whether that’s a trip to the zoo, a family day at the beach or an afternoon at a local rock-climbing centre.
Attending school is crucial for educational development, so our foster parents receive a uniform allowance to pay for a new school uniform when a child starts mainstream secondary school.
We provide our foster families with 22 nights respite per year.
Other fostering allowances
As well as generous foster carer pay, we offer various additional allowances to encourage the continued growth of children in our care by providing an enriching living environment and creating memorable life experiences.
Tax and National Insurance for foster carers
Foster carers receive a £10,000 tax exemption on their fostering income, plus an additional tax relief for each child in their care – generally making most of your income from fostering tax-free.
If your income from fostering is deemed as Null, you also won’t need to pay National Insurance either. However, you may wish to pay Class 2 National Insurance voluntarily, so you’re able to access state benefits in future.
Will I be paid when I don’t have a child in placement?
Unfortunately, foster carers only receive a fostering allowance when they have a child in placement.
However, we receive hundreds of referrals every day from local authorities and have a dedicated Referrals Team who match these children with the skills and experience of our foster parents.
In addition, we work closely with our foster parents whose children are approaching the date that’s planned for them to move on from their care and work with local authorities to identify any potential placements that can be planned in future.
Do I have to pay tax on my fostering allowance?
Foster carers receive a £10,000 tax allowance on their annual fostering income, plus an additional weekly tax relief for each child in their care – known as Qualifying Care Relief – meaning that they can receive payments up to a certain amount, completely tax-free.
Whether you pay tax will depend on several factors, including the number of children you have in placement, the type of placement and whether you receive enhanced fees and whether you receive any other income aside from fostering.
However, in general, if you’re caring for 1 child and do not have any other source of income, the Qualifying Care Relief should be higher than the income received and therefore you will not pay tax.
Do foster parents receive child benefits?