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Foster carers fees and allowances increase from 1st April 2023

Bradford Council has announced that the professional fees that foster carers receive will be increased.

The increase of 12.4% comes in light of the cost of living crisis and in recognition of the vital service foster cares provide for the district’s most vulnerable residents.

The allowances foster carers receive to cover the costs of caring for a foster child have also been increased by 12.43% following a recommendation by the Department for Education.

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Steven Sagar-Watson, vice-chair of Bradford Independent Foster Carer Association, said:

“The Bradford Independent Foster Care Association has been working closely with Bradford’s fostering service on this issue. We appreciate our request for an above-inflation increase was a hard ask in view of the huge pressures on Bradford Council’s budget. The increase of 12.4% in the current circumstances is greatly appreciated by us all. The increase will help ensure that foster carers are able to care for the needs of some of Bradford’s most vulnerable children.”

Jane Johnson, foster carer, said:

“No one goes into fostering for the money, however the cost of living was having an impact on carers’ ability to pay for household bills. We are delighted that the Council is providing this increase in financial support for children who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to live with their birth family. It’s recognition of the valuable role foster carers play in supporting vulnerable children.”

At Foster for Bradford, all our payment arrangements include a fostering allowance, which covers the cost of caring for your foster child, alongside a fostering fee based on your experience and skills.

If you become a part-time or short break foster carer, you'll be paid the daily equivalent of the fostering allowance and the fostering fee.

You will also be paid every two weeks, directly into your bank or building society account.

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Did you know?

Foster carers don't usually pay tax on their fostering income. Along with receiving the fostering allowances and fees, foster carers benefit from special tax rules and are eligible for generous tax exemptions from HMRC, which will also be increased from 1st April 2023. You can read more on the GOV.UK website.

Additional fostering payments

To help you plan your finances, all our foster carers receive additional payments to help towards the cost for caring for a child including birthdays, days out and religious holidays.

These include:

  • An additional week’s allowance towards the cost of the child’s birthday.

  • An additional week’s allowance in late November/early December to help towards the cost of Christmas, Eid and Diwali.

  • An additional 2 weeks’ allowance paid in June to pay for summer holiday/activities.

Bradford Fostering also provides new foster carers financial support to purchase all the essential equipment and furniture needed to care for children and young people; as well as any specialist equipment if you look after children with disabilities.

An initial clothing grant is also paid if a child or young person moves into your home without suitable clothing.

Foster carers are self-employed

Did you know that foster carers are classed are self-employed by the UK Government?

Foster carers are paid fostering allowances and fees rather than a wage or salary and have to register as self-employed with HMRC.

Some foster carers give up their job to foster, while some foster carers have another job outside of fostering.

Do Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs) pay more to their carers?

If you compare the weekly or annual amount that IFAs advertise they pay foster carers, you may think that IFAs pay more than Foster for Bradford, but this is not true.

Many IFAs offer short-term placements only and do not pay a retainer fee when a child is not in placement, so IFA carers may go for long periods without receiving any fostering income.

We pay foster carers in-between placements for up to 12 weeks if we cannot offer you a placement.

IFA carers also do not usually receive all the additional payments that Foster for Bradford pays for birthdays, religious holidays, summer holidays, help with setting up your fostering bedroom and specialist equipment.

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Want to know more about how and what foster carers are paid?

We have lots of information about foster carer fees and payments on our Money Matters page.

If you'd like to learn more about fostering with Foster for Bradford, download an information pack today and see how you can make a difference.

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