Our foster carer payment levels and how they affect your benefits.

When you foster with us, we pay an allowance every 2 weeks into your bank or building society account. This is to cover the costs of giving a home to a foster child.

The allowance includes pocket money that you must give to the foster child you’re looking after.

We also help with extra costs, such as a new bed for a child.

Carer allowances and fees

The government set the minimum rates for foster carer allowances.

Some carers also get an additional fee, which reflects their skill level and time commitment.

The allowance rates for Bristol are above the government minimum rates.

We pay foster carers at 3 different levels:

LevelWeekly fee
Level 1 Normal weekly allowance, based on child's age
Level 2 normal weekly allowance based on the child’s age, plus an extra £120 fee per child per week
Level 3 normal weekly allowance based on the child’s age, plus an extra £190 fee per child per week, and £95 per week retainer, and £95 fee per child for 4 weeks after a placement ends

Find out about carer levels and our expectations for foster carers.

New carers can start fostering at Level 2 if they:

  • have completed the Skills to Foster training
  • have a positive recommendation from the fostering panel
  • are fully approved by the Agency Decision Maker

Total payment per child per week you will receive

These rates are for 1 April 2022 onwards:

Child's ageWeekly allowance (level 1)Level 2
(weekly allowance plus fee)
Level 3
(weekly allowance plus fee)
Pocket money for the child

0 to 4 years

£155.72

£275.72

 £345.72

£2

5 to 10 years

£177.43

£297.43

£367.43

£3.95 

11 to 15 years

£220.72

£340.72

£410.72

£6.33

16 to 19 years

£268.56

£388.56

£458.56

£10.06

Foster care and your benefits

The basic allowance you get from us doesn’t affect your benefits. You still need to let your benefits agency know you are fostering for us.

The additional fees we pay Level 2 and Level 3 carers may affect your benefits. You can find more information about how your benefits may be affected Go to https://www.gov.uk/foster-carers/claiming-benefits-while-fostering (opens new window) on GOV.UK.

Foster care and taxes

As a foster carer you will pay little or no tax on your income. For more information, find HMRC’s guidance on foster carers and tax.

You will get support from FosterTalk membership with this.

Extra allowances

We’ll pay you extra allowances for birthdays and holidays.

Birthday

In the payment before the child’s birthday, we’ll include an extra week of allowance. This is to help buy presents and to plan a party.

Christmas and other main religious festivals

In the payment made in November, we’ll pay you an extra week of allowance to cover Christmas or any other religious festivals the child might celebrate through the year.

Holidays

We’ll pay you an extra allowance to cover going on holiday.

You’ll get two weeks of allowance, split across 6 payments throughout the year.

For example, if you’re fostering a child up to 4 years old, your weekly allowance will be £155.72

You’d get 2 weeks’ worth of allowance to use to go on holiday, which would be £311.44

This amount would be paid in six payments. So you’d get paid £51.90, six times a year, on top of your normal allowance.

Specialist foster carer fees

Our specialist foster care schemes and fees are:

Short breaks for disabled children

Payment is in 4 hour blocks.

For the first 8 hours of care, you’ll get £35.10 in total.

After the first 8 hours, you get £11.49 for every 4 hour block.

For example, if you care for a child for one day and night, you’ll get a total of £81.06.

You also get mileage at 42p an hour for activities.

These payments are per child.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch for an informal chat, contact our fostering team.

Call:

0117 353 4200

Email:

fostering@bristol.gov.uk

Contact us

Contact us

Make an enquiry

Phone: 0117 3534200