All mainstream foster carers receive a regular weekly allowance and some receive specific allowances and/or additional allowances. The regular weekly allowance is to provide for the average family cost (by age) of fully caring for a child.
There are further allowances for birthdays and annual festivals which are available to cover some of the extra costs associated with these occasions.
Additional allowances are paid to cover specific activities or where the costs are not covered by the regular allowance.
Developing your skills
Our fostering scheme gives carers the opportunity to develop their skills and be recognised for doing so. The levels allowances scheme is set out in four levels that reflect the experience, training and skills of foster carers.
The level allowances are for the foster carer(s) themselves, providing them with the opportunity for training and achievement, as recognition of their experience, knowledge and skills and by way of developing foster care for children and young people.
Each new level pays an allowance which is in addition to the basic fostering allowance for each child or young person living in the foster home.
To progress through the levels, carers must undergo an assessment which is presented to the fostering team manager for consideration.
All newly approved carers go on to this level for the first year of their fostering 'career'. Carers who look after a child who is related to them will remain on this level.
After a year at level one and on completion of the National Fostering Standards training, foster carers can be assessed for level two.
Carers on level two receive an additional £21.75 per child, per week.
In order to be considered to be assessed for level three, carers must have:
- a year’s experience at level two
- had a child or young person in placement for 9 months from level two approval
- undertaken and evidenced 20 hours of learning and training in the last year.
Carers on level three receive an additional £43.50 per child, per week.
After a further two years’ experience at level three, in addition to training, carers can work with their supervising fostering worker to be assessed for level four.
Carers on level four receive an additional £106 per child, per week.
The extra levels allowances have no effect on any benefits at all. As for income tax, £30 per child per week is wholly exempt.