Foster caring and financial support

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you\’ve decided to become a foster carer, you may already know that you\’ll receive some financial support. Understanding a little more about this and how it affects your benefits entitlement is essential before you begin applying for the job. In addition, if you\’re planning to continue working, you\’ll need to know more about whether doing so is feasible.

Foster caring and financial support

Weekly allowances for foster carers

 

Weekly allowances for foster carers vary according to regions and the children\’s age.

London

  • Babies – £137
  • Pre-primary – £140
  • Primary – £150
  • 11-15 – £178
  • 16-17 – £209

The South East

  • Babies – £131
  • Pre-primary – £135
  • Primary – £151
  • 11-15 – £171
  • 16-17 – £201

Rest of the UK

  • Babies – £119
  • Pre-primary – £122
  • Primary – £134
  • 11-15 – £154
  • 16-17 – £179

These weekly allowances are the minimum set for councils. Depending on demand, some offer more.

When foster carers may receive additional financial support

Foster carers don\’t have to pay tax on earnings over £10,000. This is split equally between adults in the household. In addition, you receive an extra tax-free allowance for each child in your care. For every week a child under the age of 11 is in your home, you receive a £200 allowance. Every week a child over the age of 11 is in your home you receive a £250 allowance. If they\’re there for part of the week, this is split into partial allowances.

You may also find that you receive extra allowances for children who have advanced needs, particularly if they require a lot of care in hospitals. In addition, if you have advanced skills – such as being a nurse – you may receive additional payments for those too. All of this is determined when you progress through the foster care application process.

In many cases, foster carers who are claiming a pension will also receive additional support.

Foster caring and benefits entitlement

In most cases, foster caring doesn\’t affect benefits entitlement. This is true for people receiving payments from the local council, a voluntary organization, or a private organization that\’s acting on behalf of the council.

If you\’re claiming income support or Job seeker\’s allowance (JSA), you still need to abide by the usual rules. For example, you need to keep attending work-focused interviews and you must continue looking for work when claiming JSA.

Continuing with another job when you\’re foster caring

Depending on the age of the children and their needs, it might not be possible to continue with another job while you\’re foster caring. Very young children are likely to require a full-time carer, and they need that sort of continuity as opposed to childcare.

In addition, caring for some children may require you to liaise with social workers, schools, birth families, and healthcare professionals on a regular basis. Such communication can take up a lot of your time.

Ultimately, whether or not you continue working is up to you. Social workers will advise you accordingly, and you may find that your job is flexible enough to warrant doing so.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]