fostering allowance

Fostering allowance

We want to build a community of professional and highly-skilled foster parents so that every child in care has the best chance of achieving their full potential.

As an Orange Grove foster parent, you'll be rewarded with a generous fostering allowance for every night a child spends in your care, plus other allowances for birthdays and religious holidays.

The fostering payment covers the cost of caring for a child or young person while providing you with a professional fee so that you can dedicate your time to fulfilling the needs of children in care, rather than seeking additional employment.

This makes becoming a foster parent a viable career option for anybody who wants to make a difference to a child’s life.

How much are foster parents paid?

We have different foster carer pay scales depending on your experience, training and the age of the child in your care. Discover our fostering payments below.

Grade 1 - New to fostering

You'll start your fostering career with Orange Grove on our Grade 1 payment tier until you've completed 12 months of fostering and your core training.

Depending on the age of the child in your care, you'll receive between £313.13 and £400.05 per week, per child. 

Grade 2 - 1 year's experience

Once you've completed 12 months of fostering children, plus your Training and Development Standards and all core training, you'll move to our Grade 2 payment tier. 

You’ll also receive this payment grade if you’re transferring from another fostering agency or local authority with 12 months of fostering experience and have previously completed the Training and Development Standards.

Depending on the age of the child in your care, you'll receive between £323.14 and £410.06 per week, per child. 

Grade 3 - 3 years' experience

You can also apply to become a Grade 3 foster parent, however, you'll need to have at least 3 years of achieving excellent outcomes for children in your care and also play an active role in your local support groups and activities. 

Depending on the age of the child in your care, you'll receive between £333.15 and £420.07 per week, per child. 

foster carer pay

Additional fostering allowances

As well as a generous fostering allowance, we also provide additional benefits to encourage your wellbeing as a foster parent, as well as creating memorable and enriching life experiences for the young people in care, including:

  • 2 weeks of paid respite per year
  • £100 annual birthday allowance for the child in your care
  • £100 annual festival allowance for the child in your care

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Exclusive Refer-a-Friend Scheme

As a foster parent, you’ll know what it takes to make a big difference to the lives of children in care and our Refer-a-Friend scheme encourages you to recommend people in your network who would make fantastic foster parents. In return, you can receive up to £3,000 for every family you recommend who becomes approved and completes 12 months of fostering.

Find out more

Great rewards and benefits for foster parents

When you join our team, you’ll access hundreds of exciting benefits through our foster parent rewards platform, including discounts at big retailers, such as Sainsbury’s, Primark, Costa and Argos, as well travel agents, cinema chains and gyms. Plus, you’ll also have access to advise on finances, fitness, nutrition and more!

how much do foster carers get paid

Tax relief and exemptions

While your income from fostering is taxable, you’ll receive a £10,000 tax exemption, plus additional tax relief for each child in placement. This generally makes your income from fostering completely tax-free. This is known as the Qualifying Care Relief – a special tax rule set up by HMRC for foster parents.

Plus, if your taxable income is less than your Qualifying Care Relief, you won’t need to pay National Insurance contributions. However, you may still decide to pay voluntary contributions so you’re eligible to claim state benefits, including the state pension.

Find out more

Frequently asked questions

Are foster parents self-employed?

Yes, foster parents are classed as self-employed, so make sure you register yourself as self-employed as soon as you start caring for your first foster child. Once registered, you’ll then be required to complete a tax return every year.

You can register yourself as self-employed in three relatively straightforward ways:
1. Register online here
2. Complete a CWF1 form available online
3. Call the newly self-employed helpline on 0300 200 3504

Can I work and be a foster parent?

Yes - it's possible to work and foster but it's likely you'll need to either work part-time or have enough flexibility in your role, so you can attend meetings, children's reviews and training. You'll also need to be able to drop everything in the event of a child needing you, for example, if they're poorly.

Find out more about working and fostering

Will I be paid in between fostering placements?

No, foster parents are only paid an allowance when they're caring for a child. For this reason, we advice foster parents to be open to a wider age range, as only fostering young children can lead to longer gaps in between placements.

However, we receive hundreds of referrals every day from local authorities and have a dedicated Referrals Team who match these children with the skills and experience of our foster parents.

In addition, we work closely with our foster parents whose children are approaching the date that’s planned for them to move on from their care and work with local authorities to identify any potential placements that can be planned in future.

Would I still be able to claim benefits when fostering?

The fostering allowance doesn’t impact whether you’ll be able to receive means-tested benefits, as it’s not counted towards income. Therefore, benefits such as income support, child tax credit and housing benefit, should remain unaffected.

Do foster parents receive child benefits?

You will not receive the child benefit for a child in your care because you'll be paid a fostering allowance instead. Fostering will not affect the child benefit of any birth children or adoptive children in your family.

More FAQs

Got some more questions? Find out the answers here.

View all FAQs

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Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

Your local office

We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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