Fostering Allowances

We know that it can be hard talking about money when it comes to looking after children.  That's why we've provided all the information you need to know, but may feel uncomfortable asking.

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Foster care pay and allowances at ACS

When you become a member of the ACS team, it's important that you are rewarded with a generous fostering allowance that recognises your hard work and committment as a skilled professional, whilst also enabling you to provide the very best care for a child.

Here we’ve provided you with all the information you need to know about the ACS fostering allowance, to enable you to make an informed choice about whether fostering is right for you.  Many other aspects play a vital part in your consideration to become a foster parent such as training and support, but we know it’s important to know that you’ll have financial security to become a foster parent, especially if you are giving up paid employment to enable you to foster.

How much do foster parents get paid at Active Care Solutions?

At ACS the amount we pay varies between £315 and £515 a week, depending on factors such as the age of the child and the type of placement.  Our foster parents are paid fortnightly, for every night a child is in your care.

When considering fostering it can be helpful to consider an approximate annual amount, especially if you’re currently working so you can see how fostering compares.  We appreciate that this can really help people understand if they can afford to foster full time.  That’s why we have developed our finance calculator.  Amounts will vary if you don’t foster for a full year.  It’s also worth noting that foster parents pay significantly less tax too and are still entitled to claim means tested benefits.

What the fostering allowance covers

The fostering allowance is designed to cover the full cost of caring for a child including food, clothes, bills and everyday expenses, including pocket money, membership of children’s clubs and even holidays. On top of this there are a number of allowances for birthdays, religious festivals and other key events as well as other fostering benefits too.

Breakdown of the fostering allowance

The amount paid is designed to give you a payment too, to reward you for your hard work and dedication to the children in your care.  We don’t break this down by saying how much to spend each week or month on a child, family life just isn’t like that.  Some weeks you might only need food and club money, other weeks you’ll spend more on a child in your care, for example when new clothes are required.

Sometimes children will need items that are not covered by the fostering allowance, or need additional transport.  When this happens we will discuss this with you so you’ll know prior to making a purchase, exactly what you can claim back.

Other fostering benefits available to you when you foster with ACS

We give our foster parents the choice between a twice yearly bonus or 14 days’ paid respite care each year. This is equivalent to the cost of a holiday.  This means our foster parents can make the decision which is right for them as a family.  Sometimes we all need a well earned break, in which case we'll arrange for another foster parent to look after your foster child whilst you take a break.  However, if it's best for you and the children you care for to take a family holiday together, our bonus can make this possible.

Our foster parents also gain access to a range of discounts at many leading retainers, the ones listed below are just some of the great brands that offer our foster parents a discount.

Discounts are also available in many restaurants and venues offering great family days out.  Easy to use, discounts are applied instantly - so even if you're out shopping, you'll be able to make the most of your discounts immediately, helping your fostering allowance go even further.

Amazing discounts for our foster parents

What is the difference between private agency and local authority fostering allowances?

Every local authority pays differently, so it depends where you live as to how much you are likely to receive as a local authority foster carer.  In general our fostering allowance is more generous, as local authorities tend to pay in the region of £132 - £231, although some do have schemes which pay a lot more, or they pay more to their most experienced foster carers.

But when considering who to foster with, the fostering allowance isn’t the only thing to compare.  Our Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating means we provide excellent training, support and management alongside our generous allowance.

Additionally, if your ethnicity, cultural heritage and/or faith are important to you - ACS is highly likely to be the best fit for you.  As providing a diverse culture with faith at its heart is what ACS is all about.

Financial Calculator

It's always helpful to know what your annual income maybe.

Try out our Financial Calculator

Fostering and tax

Foster parents are rewarded for their hard work and contribution to society via generous tax allowances.  Our foster parents pay very little tax and in some circumstances pay no tax at all.

Every adult has a tax allowance, which from April 2021 is £12,570.

However foster parents receive an additional £10,000 allowance, as well as a tax fee amount for every week a child is in your care.

This means if you receive £25,000 per year from fostering, you’ll have almost £2,500 a year more compared to someone who earns the same in a salary.

You can find out much more about how this works on our dedicated Tax page.

How much tax do foster carers pay? 

Fostering and benefits

Some foster parents are entitled to benefits alongside fostering.

The fostering allowance isn't considered as income for the purpose of means tested benefits which include:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income support
  • Universal credit

It is likely that you’ll still be able to claim a means tested benefit alongside fostering, as long as all other circumstances remain the same.

Find out more

Are you ready to take your first step to becoming a foster parent?

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

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