How much do foster carers get paid?

Everything you need to know about foster care pay and allowances.


As a foster carer, you will change children's lives for the better. Though foster carers do not choose to care for children for the money, it is important for you to know how much income you'll receive to support yourself and your family.

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The Bradford fostering approach

We know how important our foster carers are. Our payments are higher than, or comparable to most other fostering authorities and agencies in the region.


The basics of foster carer pay

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. You can read more on the GOV.UK website.


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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 your local authority.


However, many IFAs offer short-term placements 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.


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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 in Bradford, download an information pack today and see how you can make a difference.


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