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An Independent Fostering Agency pays a weekly fee of approximately £400 for a foster child. This may be linked to the child’s needs or the professional expertise the foster carer has.
If someone wants to work from home who has an interest in looking after children and young people and they are looking for a job that will fit around their own family commitments, fostering can be the ideal solution. The job description of a Foster carer is to look after children.
All foster carers are registered with and contracted to a local authority or voluntary or Independent agency. Foster carers are seen as professionals and receive a fee on a basis of being self employed.
The general rule is that taxable income is taken into account in calculating someone’s Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
This includes someone’s income from employment and self-employment, foster carers are classed as self employed. However, the current rules mean many UK foster carers now pay no tax on the money they earn from fostering.
If foster carers total foster care receipts are less than their qualifying amount, the profit from foster caring for both tax and tax credit will be nil.
Fostering allowances which qualify for tax relief are ignored:
The rules about remunerative work are different for income support (IS) and jobseeker’s allowance (JSA). In some cases a foster carer might be able to claim either Working Tax Credit or Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance or both.
From 2003 foster carers are entitled to Home Responsibilities Protection which helps towards getting a basic State Pension. This will change in 2010, HRP will be replaced by weekly credits for parents and carers (including foster carers).
The credits will count towards a basic State Pension and an additional State Pension. If a foster carer reaches State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010, any years of Home Responsibilities Protection received will be converted to credits.
Foster carers are only entitled to claim Child Tax Credit for their own children, and for any other children for whom they are mainly responsible for provided they are not paid for looking after them.
Foster carers cannot claim CTC for children whom they foster whose accommodation and maintenance are paid for out of public funds.
The rules exclude a person from being treated as responsible for a child during any period when the child Is provided with, or placed in, accommodation under Children Act legislation.
This exclusion covers children staying with foster carers who get foster payments for them from the local authority or via an Independent Foster care agency.
Foster carers cannot get CTC for their foster children. They can however get CTC for any children of their own under the normal rules.
To qualify for working tax credit (WTC), a claimant must be in full-time paid work; called ‘remunerative work’ by the Revenue.
The number of hours required per week depends on the circumstances.
Someone counts as being in remunerative work if s/he is either employed or self-employed and working for payment or in expectation of payment.
Foster carers are treated as self-employed, so if someone is working as a foster carer, s/he can claim WTC if s/he is working for at least: 16 hours per week if s/he is responsible for a child.
Revenue guidance says that the hours of work a foster carer declares on her/his claim form should normally be accepted.
If someone does more than one job, the total hours are added together. So if a foster carer is doing work in addition to foster caring, the hours from the other work can be included. The Revenue says that someone who is self-employed can include hours spent providing services. Also those that are necessary for self-employment, such as cleaning the business and book-keeping.
Foster carers provide high quality care working in partnership with the local authority and Foster care Agency. Foster carers are expected to work with other professionals such as therapists, teachers or doctors. Fostering has become a career for thousands of Foster carers in the UK.
It is of paramount importance to choose the right fostering agency, there are over seven hundred in the UK. Simply Fostering, the UK national foster carer recruitment website provides help by answering questions and identifying the most suitable local fostering agencies with vacancies.
Fostering Agencies are looking for committed adults who can find room in their hearts and in their homes for children who cannot stay with their own family.
Here at Foster Care News, our hope is that by advertising the need for more foster carers we can encourage people to consider a career as a foster carer.
Families who foster share the belief that every child who needs it, must have the chance to feel cared for in a secure and loving family whilst their future is decided.
Here at Foster Care News you can find useful information about how to foster children, fostering allowances, short and long term fostering and how to find the right fostering agencies.
Use our free Foster Care News UK : Carer Enquiry – Fostering Agency Matching Service to find the best Fostering Agencies with vacancies where you live.
Want to know more about foster care? Take a look here: Foster Care News in the UK, on Twitter, Facebook and Google.