Fostering Pay & Allowances

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

In return for your hard work and commitment, you’ll be rewarded with a generous weekly fostering payment, plus other allowances. This weekly payment will cover the cost of the child in your care, as well as provide you with a professional fee so that you can dedicate your time to fulfilling the needs of a child in care, rather than seeking additional employment.

This professional fee makes fostering a viable career option for anybody who wants to make a difference to a child’s life.

Find out everything you need to know about fostering allowances below, including;

How much are you paid as a foster parent with Orange Grove?

We have different fostering pay scales, depending on your experience, training and the child in placement. As a new foster parent, you’ll receive the following probationary rates, until you’ve completed 12 months of fostering and the Training and Development Standards.

Age of child placed0 – 4 years5 – 10 years11 – 15 years16 – 17 years
Total Weekly Payment£313.13£368.70£404.05£404.05
Child Allowance£161.62£191.95£227.30£227.30
Carer Fee£151.51£176.75£176.75£176.75

After you’ve completed your probationary period, you’ll receive the following experienced payments.

Age of child placed0 – 4 years5 – 10 years11 – 15 years16 – 17 years
Total Weekly Payment£323.24£388.85£434.31£434.31
Child Allowance£161.62£191.95£227.30£227.30
Carer Fee£161.62£196.90£207.01£207.01

Enhanced allowances are also available if you’re caring for a child with more complex needs or solo placements.

What additional fostering allowances do you receive with Orange Grove?

We provide additional fostering allowances to encourage your ongoing wellbeing and development as a foster parent, as well as creating memorable and enriching life experiences for the young people in care.

Respite payment2 weeks paid leave per annum
New placement start-up payment£100 per child
Long term placement bonus£250 on each 12 month anniversary
Annual training bonus (experienced carers only)£500 on successful annual completion
Birthday allowance£200 per annum
Religious festival allowance£200 per annum

You’ll also be able to receive additional bonuses through our Refer-a-Friend scheme; a scheme that encourages our foster parents to recommend people who could make a fantastic foster parent. You could receive up to £3,000 per successful applicant.

The Exchange – Our rewards platform

As an Orange Grove foster parent, you’ll be able to access lots of exciting benefits through our rewards platform, including discounts at big retailers, such as Sainsbury’s, Primark, Costa and Argos, as well travel agents, cinema chains and gyms, plus access to advice on finances, fitness and nutrition.

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, which generally makes your income from fostering completely tax-free.

This is known as the Qualifying Care Relief – a special tax rule set up for foster parents.

Learn more about foster parent tax >

National Insurance and pensions

If you’re 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 voluntarily contributions, so you’re eligible to claim state benefits, including the state pension.

Learn more about National Insurance for foster parents >

Things to consider before fostering

Being a foster parent can be extremely rewarding as you’re shaping the future for a child who may not have received the best start in life.

And while fostering is a career, it’s a career unlike any other, so there are many things to consider – particularly around your personal finances.

Are foster parents self-employed?

Yes, foster parents are classed as self-employed and so you will need to register as self-employed with the HMRC as soon as you start fostering. You will also need to complete a tax return each year.

Am I allowed to work and foster?

It’s possible to work and foster – in fact, we have many foster parents who do. However, it completely depends on your personal circumstances, for examples, the hours you wish to work, whether your employer can be flexible, your support network, whether you’re able to work from home and more.

We always recommend that you speak to our team about your working arrangements and whether you’d be able to meet a child’s needs.

Would I still be able to claim benefits?

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.

Find out about benefits and fostering >

Will I receive allowances when I’m not caring for a child?

During your fostering career, there may be times when a child is living with you and therefore you wouldn’t receive any allowances. You’ll need to ensure that you’re able to cover your living costs during this time, either through a partner’s income, savings or a flexible work arrangement.

Take Your First Step

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent and would like to learn more, then we’d love to hear from you. Simply fill in our online form and one of our friendly fostering advisors will be in touch.