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Deciding to become a foster parent and care for a child or young person who needs your help is a courageous and rewarding step, with many benefits for you and the child in your care.
One of the most important deciding factors in becoming a foster parent, which we get asked about a lot, is the money: how much foster carers get paid, what benefits they are entitled to, tax exemptions, and more.
Family Fostering Partners puts foster parents and the children they look after at the heart of everything we do. Our network of foster parents are all trained professionals, highly skilled in and dedicated to the nurture and care of vulnerable young people.
We believe that being a foster parent is a full-time career choice and should be remunerated accordingly.
In Wales, the Welsh Government lays out a national minimum weekly allowance for foster carers, and the range runs from £165 - £239.98 per week (2019). However, it differs for England and Northern Ireland, and currently, there is no national minimum allowance for foster carers in Scotland.
The weekly allowance is designed to cover the usual outgoings you'd expect to pay when looking after a child, for example, food, toiletries and clothes. This payment is allocated per child in your care and is classed as a professional fee. Any additional income you receive from a foster agency is classed as 'reward' payment and is set by the individual agency.
When you register as a foster carer, you become classed as a self-employed worker. Therefore, you should register accordingly with HMRC so that you can pay the correct tax and national insurance contributions.
You may also be entitled to tax relief or other benefits such as Working Tax Credits or Income Support. You can find out more about the benefits you might be entitled to on the GOV.UK website.
Whilst all this might initially sound quite confusing, the team at Family Fostering Partners are here to help guide you through the process step by step.
Our 'Be There To Care' scheme is the first of its kind for us and aims to alleviate any money concerns as you make the transition from leaving your previous job to becoming a full-time foster parent. You can read more about it here.
Whilst nobody goes into foster care lightly or expects to make money, it is vital to acknowledge the hugely important role foster parents play in the lives of the young people in their care. Proper support, guidance and remuneration should be in place for foster parents to facilitate their ongoing provision of a safe, loving and settled family home.
Away from any systemic financial benefits, the positive impact of successful foster care is wide-reaching:
For the child
Across Wales and in Mid-West England, our network of foster parents benefits from our familial approach.
From day one, our team are on hand to invest in you and make sure you have everything you need to help improve the outcomes for the many vulnerable young people who need your help.
If you'd like more information about fostering with us, please click the link below that best suits you.
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