What it means to be a family and friends foster carer, how you become one and available support.
Family and friends foster carers financial support and benefits
Financial support and government benefits available to family and friends foster carers.
As a family and friends foster carer, you can get a foster care allowance to help you with the costs of caring for a child. The amount you get depends on how many children you are fostering, their age, their needs, your experience and where you live.
Contact your local council children’s services for details of what you are entitled to. You may be able to get extra help to pay for things like birthdays, holidays and religious festivals.
For guidance on the current rates of fostering care allowance, visit help with the cost of fostering (GOV.UK)
There may be further financial help if you or the child you care for are disabled or have a long-term illness.
Foster care allowance and tax
You’ll need to register as self-employed and file annual tax returns when you are fully approved as a family and friends foster carer. You can earn £10,000 from fostering before you have to pay tax. You’ll still have to pay tax on any earnings you get from another job.
You qualify for tax relief for every week a child is in your care.
Foster care allowance can affect other benefits you may receive. You should let whoever pays your benefits know if you are getting fostering allowance from your local council.
You may be able to claim one of the following government benefits to help you with day-to-day living costs and the cost of caring for a child.
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working age who are on a low income. You can be working, looking for work, sick or disabled, or caring for children.
You cannot claim the child element of Universal Credit if you receive a foster care allowance. However, being a kinship carer does not affect the child element you receive for your biological children.
If you are over state-pension age, you may be able to get Pension Credit, which is separate to your State Pension. You cannot claim the child element of Pension Credit if you receive a foster care allowance. However, being a kinship carer does not affect the child element you receive for your biological children.