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.
Total payment per child per week you will receive
These rates are for 1 December 2023 onwards:
|Weekly allowance (level 1)
(weekly allowance plus fee)
(weekly allowance plus fee)
|Pocket money for the child
0 to 4 years
5 to 10 years
11 to 15 years
16 to 19 years
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.
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:
|Normal weekly allowance, based on child's age
|normal weekly allowance based on the child's age, plus an extra £160 fee per child per week
|normal weekly allowance based on the child's age, plus an extra £250 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
We'll pay you extra allowances for birthdays and holidays.
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.
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 £160.39.
You'd get 2 weeks' worth of allowance to use to go on holiday, which would be £320.78.
This amount would be paid in six payments. So you'd get paid £53.46, 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: full time role
- a weekly payment of £489 with an additional £28 per night allowance for the child which is a total annual fee of £25,428
- children with challenging behaviour (Bristol Intensive Support Programme)
- £650 per week
- parent and child fostering
- £800 per week
- Branchout: teaching young people life skills
- £175 a week to care for a young person, £15 of that is paid directly by the young person as rent
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.