foster carer pay explained

Posted: Tuesday 14th September 2021
Blog: Blogs

Do I get paid to foster? And can you afford to do it?

Let’s explain foster carer pay.

  1. Money to be spent on the child

  2. Special Occassion Payments

  3. Money paid to the carer

  4. Council Tax Discount

  5. How does that add up?

  6. When can I give up work to foster?


money to be spent on the child

When you are fostering a child, you will receive a payment to cover your costs. This is called the “fostering allowance” to pay for the extra food, heating, water, electric, petrol etc. The amount varies depending on the age of child you are fostering.


special occasion payments

You will also receive money to pay for birthday presents, Christmas presents and holidays for the child. You may also be paid to attend some training courses, approx. £50 per full day course.  You will also usually be provided with any equipment that you need. You should not be “out of pocket” to foster.

money paid to the carer

When you first start fostering, you will be given an induction and be expected to attend basic core training courses as well as gaining some experience of caring for foster children. During this period you will be on level 1. You will receive money to be spent on the child, but you will not receive a payment as a carer yet.

You need to complete the core training courses to increase your payments. If you already have training, qualifications and experience of working with children, you can start at a higher level of pay.

At the end of your first year, you will have a review meeting where, if you have completed the required core training and caring tasks well, you can proceed to level 2.

Level 2

As a level 2 carer you will receive up to an additional £3,000* a year as a payment to you.

After level 2, you can apply to complete your QCF qualification. This is like an NVQ and you will be ask to write down some of the tasks that you do as a foster carer, as evidence towards a qualification. Once you have your QCF and completed more advanced training, you can proceed to level 3 at your next review.

Level 3

As a level 3 carer you will receive up to an additional £6,500* a year as a payment to you.

council tax discount

Flintshire County Council offer local authority foster carers who foster with us a 50% discount on their Council tax bill.

how does that add up?

Foster Carer Pay
 Level 1  Level 2  Level 3
Money provided to be spent on the child  £9204 to £11,440 a year***    £9204 to £11,440 a year***  £9204 to £11,440 a year***
Special occasion   £708 to £880**  £708 to £880**  £708 to £880**
Carer’s pay    £0*  £3000*  £6500*
Council Tax Discount £839.68**** £839.68**** £839.68****
TOTAL £10,751-£13,159 £13,751-£16,159 £17,251 - £19,659
**** based on 50% of Band D 2020/21 Flintshire Council Tax charge
***based on the £177-£220 weekly Flintshire fostering allowance (2021-22) caring for a child 365 days.
**based on £177-£220 birthday, £177-£220 religious festival and £354-£440 holiday allowance, if the child is in your care on these occasions.
*based on £125 (level 3) caring for one or two children, 365 days

when can I give up work to foster?

Depending on your financial stability, you could give up work to foster, but losing a wage to become a foster carer is not always financially viable. Fostering is not a reliable source of income as we cannot guarantee that you will be caring for a child every day of the year. You only receive fostering payments when you are caring for a child.

However, once you have reached level 3 and you have made a long term commitment to care for specific children, then your payments and income from fostering will be more reliable.

Fostering with the local authority is a gradual development of your skills, confidence and pay. There are more challenging areas of fostering available with the local authority which provide a higher payment to the foster carer from £10,000-£24,000 (pro rata). You can be considered for these once you have some experience of working with children or fostering.

Different fostering services will have different types of fostering and payment levels.

 To find out more about fostering payments in Wales, read the Foster Wales guide to foster carer pay: The Ultimate Guide To Foster Carer Pay - foster wales (