How much will I get paid?

Fostering Fees and Allowances

You will receive a payment for fostering a child through the Brighton & Hove fostering service. There are two parts to the payment: an allowance and a fostering fee. The allowance covers the costs of caring for a particular child or young person and the extra costs related to fostering. The fostering fee recognises the service, skills and training completed by the carer.

You will get an allowance and a fostering fee for every child you foster, except for parent and baby placements (see the payment table below). The allowance depends on the age of the child, and the fostering fee depends on the number of years experience you have had as a foster carer.

You will be expected to budget and manage your fostering payment as you would for your own family. The allowance covers pocket money, fostered children’s holidays, birthday and Christmas presents, school costs, transport, leisure activities and clothing. Additional discretionary payments can be made only in certain limited circumstances, such as costs for setting up a new placement and school trips costing more than £200. We also pay your membership of the Fostering Network, which has many valuable benefits.

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Payments Table

    Age Of Child
Experience   0-4 5-11 12-18 Parent &
Baby
Newly approved: Allowance (per child) £147 + £184 + £222 + £369* +
  Fostering Fee £152 £152 £152 £304
  Weekly Total £299 £336 £374 £673
After two years: Allowance (per child) £147 + £184 + £222 + £369* +
  Fostering Fee £163 £163 £163 £326
  Weekly Total £310 £347 £385 £695
After five years: Allowance (per child) £147 + £184 + £222 + £369* +
  Fostering Fee £192 £192 £192 £384
  Weekly Total £339 £376 £414 £753
*allowance covers living costs for parent and baby.

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Examples

If you were a newly approved foster carer with one child aged 5-11 you would receive £329 per week: £180 for the child and £149 for your fee.

If you had over two years experience and have one child aged 0-4 and one child aged 12-18 you would receive £682 per week: £144 for the first child, £218 for the second child and £320 for your fee (£160 x2).

If you had five years experience and have one child aged 0-4 and one parent and baby placement you would receive £1062 per week: £144 for the first child, £362 for the parent and baby placement and £556 (£188 + £368) for your fee.

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Discounts for Brighton & Hove Foster Carers

Did you know that if you are a carer for Brighton & Hove City Council, you can get discounts across the City, including Westows, days out with Brighton & Hove Buses, Karoake at Lucky Voice ?  Our discounts are changing and expanding all the time.  Log-in to our dedicated ‘Carer’s log-in’ section of the website where you will see all the latest discounts and how to get them.

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Principles

These are the principles behind the payment scheme:

  • it is simple, fair and easy to understand
  • it enables Brighton & Hove to be competitive with local independent fostering agencies and other local authorities
  • it recognises the complex task of fostering other people’s children
  • the care payment will meet the Department for Education’s national minimum fostering allowance

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Questions

Foster carers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes. There is a simplified income tax scheme for foster carers, sometimes referred to as ‘foster care relief’; from April 2010 onwards it will be called ‘qualifying care relief’. The scheme uses an income threshold to determine how much tax, if any, is due.

Anyone who is self employed must register to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. Where foster care is the only source of self employed income and taxable profit is low, a foster carer may apply for the Small Earnings Exception. Further information about tax and national insurance is available on HM Review and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/hs236.pdf

For more advice on fostering, tax and national insurance contact Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or email fosterline@fostering.net

If you currently claim welfare benefits you are likely to be able to continue to claim while fostering. Foster carers are approved rather than employed, and this status has a particular effect on means tested benefits. In the main, fostering payments when a child is placed with a foster carer are disregarded when calculating welfare benefits, additionally foster carers may be able to claim working tax credit.

For more advice on fostering and benefits contact Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or email fosterline@fostering.net

Foster carers are expected to be available to care for children, attend meetings, training, support groups, and to promote and support contact between a child and their family. This is generally not compatible with full time employment. Fostering services would not usually consider it appropriate for a fostered child to be in full-time day care while their foster carer works.

Previous financial problems should not prevent you from fostering. You will need to be able to show that you are now financially secure enough to provide a stable home for any children that are placed with you, and that you are able to manage the fostering allowances paid to you.

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