Support and payments

Support

We will be there to help you throughout your fostering journey and can arrange for one of our experienced foster carers to meet you to talk about their experiences of fostering. As a foster carer with Nottinghamshire County Council you will receive ongoing support and training.

Individual support

Once approved, you will have your own supervising social worker who will visit you and your family regularly. Their role is to support you and your family whilst you are fostering and to offer advice about any concerns or worries you may have.

Every child or young person who is looked after by the local authority has their own social worker who works closely with the child and their family. The supervising social worker will also visit regularly to see the child and offer any help or guidance you may need. As a foster carer you will be required to keep records about a child’s placement and attend meetings where you will be able to discuss the placement and help make plans for the child’s future.

Out of hours support

Our service aims to be as flexible as possible, to support the needs of our foster carers. In addition to the Emergency Duty Team there is also an ‘Out of Hours Fostering Service’ where supervising social workers are available to provide advice and support up until 10pm and at weekends.

Support groups

Some foster carers enjoy meeting up on a regular basis at various support groups to talk about different issues and offer advice, helping each other. Your supervising social worker or our recruitment team will advise you where and when these groups are meeting. You will also have the opportunity to meet with fostering staff and other foster carers at Nottinghamshire Fostering and Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG).

My Learning, My Career

Carers can book themselves onto training courses via a dedicated website called My Learning My Career, to access classroom and online training.

Fostering Family workers

Carers and foster children have the support of a specialised team who are trained to deliver therapeutic interventions. Their service is flexible and can be delivered both in the home or local community. Their main role is to strengthen placement stability and reduce placement breakdowns.

Training

Within the first twelve months of being approved, you are required to complete the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSDS) for foster care. The standards set out expectations for foster carers. By attending a mandatory fostering induction training course as well as a positive first year review, you will be considered to have achieved these standards.

During your fostering career you will be expected to complete at least 20 hours of training a year, to learn about different aspects of caring for children. Training programmes are organised by our dedicated training coordinators and are held in different venues around the county. Courses are held over weekends and evenings as well as during the day to enable all foster carers to have the opportunity to attend.

Payments

All foster carers receive a basic fostering allowance and a fostering supplement, paid weekly to provide for the average family cost (by age) of caring for a child. All foster carers need to register as self employed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. There is no effect on Income Support if people register as self employed foster carers, as any income received from fostering is not taken into account.

For more information visit www.hmrc.gov.uk.

Table of allowances paid to foster carers: April 2019 to March 2020

Age group 0 to 4 5 to 10 11 to 15 16 to 17
Basic fostering allowance
(paid weekly)
£132 £146 £167 £194
Fostering supplement
(paid weekly)
£10 £10 £10 £10
Birthday allowance
(paid at time of foster child's birthday)
£132 £146 £167 £194
Festive allowance
(paid at time of festive occasion)
£132 £146 £167 £194


Levels payments

Levels payments give foster carers the chance to be acknowledged for their skills and to identify areas for development. As carers gain experience and develop as foster carers they can progress through three levels. Every foster carer has a supervising social worker who they work closely with to demonstrate that they meet the standards set out for each level.

If applicants have a relevant child care qualification or significant experience of caring for other people’s children, there is the potential to start at a higher level, subject to the outcome of their assessment.

Our fostering levels provide carers with the opportunity to develop their skills and be recognised for doing so.

Each new level pays an allowance which is in addition to the regular fostering weekly allowance.

Level one

Most newly approved carers will start on this level for the first year of their fostering career.

You will receive an additional £28 per week per child at this level.

Level two

On completion of the Training, Support and Development Standards, which should be completed within the first year of fostering, foster carers can progress to level 2.

You will receive an additional £57 per child per week at this level.

Level three

After additional experience and significant training, carers can be assessed for level three. You will receive an additional £113 per week per child aged 0 - 4 and £139 per week per child for 5 - 18 year olds.

Examples of Foster Carer payments

Debbie, John, Alfie and Sarah

John and Debbie have been foster carers for 5 years, they’ve worked with their Supervising Social Worker and completed all of their training. They are now being paid at the highest levels’ payment, Level 3. This year they welcomed two unrelated foster children, Alfie and Sarah, into their home. Alfie is 16, whilst Sarah is 17.

John is the main carer and his personal tax allowance is £12,500 per annum. He also has an additional £10,000 per annum for tax exemption for fostering, as well as a further tax relief of £13,000 per annum for each of his teenage foster children. This means he can receive up to £47,850 in fostering fees before he is taxed.

If Alfie and Sarah remain in John and Debbie’s care for 52 weeks, then John will receive £35,672 per annum, which is under his taxable threshold.

This is equivalent to a gross salary of £47,259, based on the average employee and assuming this is John’s only role.

Josephine, Nicholas and Amy

Josephine has recently passed her panel assessment. So far, she has attended all her necessary training and has just agreed to foster her first sibling group. Nicholas and Amy are brother and sister with an eight-year age gap. Nicholas is 3 and Amy is 11.

Josephine’s personal Tax Allowance is £12,500. Again, she receives an additional £10,000 per annum tax exemption for fostering. Due to the age of her foster children, she also has £10,400 additional tax relief for Nicholas and £13,000 for Amy. This means she can receive up to £45,250in fostering fees before she is taxed.

If both Nicholas and Amy remain in Josephine’s care for 52 weeks, she will receive £19,500 per annum, which is below her taxable threshold.

This is equivalent to a gross salary of £23,477, based on the average employee and assuming this is Josephine’s only role.

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