Fostering a child costs money
If you are looking into becoming foster parents, money may be an issue. While you want to help one of the thousands of children in need, you don’t want them to become too expensive to care for that you can no longer have enough money for you, your family; let alone the child. Fostering a child costs money but help is available with the fostering allowance to pay for the child’s needs and the money paid to the foster carer for doing the job.
The Average Standard Allowance from Private Agencies
In most cases, you will receive £380 per week for a child that you foster. This allowance is an average and it doesn’t matter what age the child is. This foster caring allowance is designed to cover the costs of the child in your care and will help cover food, clothing and other general costs. It will not help towards any private schools fees should you decide that that is right for your foster son or daughter.
However, this amount is from individual agencies. The amount is usually not taxable unless you earn over £50,000 a year and shouldn’t affect other benefits.
The Allowance from the Local Authorities
When it comes to the local authorities, the foster allowance is usually lower. Foster parents can get differing amounts depending on the child’s age. Babies have the lowest at around £116 per week while teenagers have around £175 per week. The amount does factor in that fostering a child can cost more than having your own child.
There is other support available from the local authorities. They give the same support as agencies and help if there is a problem with the child or whether there is a breakdown in your own family.
Claiming Benefits for Foster Children
Unlike adopting or having your own, foster parents cannot claim Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits. The child is not counted as a member of the family. However, it is still possible to claim other benefits, including Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. You will need to talk to your local authority or agency about all the benefits you can claim while foster caring.
Fostering is the least expensive way if children can’t stay with their family and the rewards often outweigh the financial implications. You could help a number of children who need some stability in this time of their life. It can be very difficult for them and foster parents who can really help them be safe, get on track and do the best in their future.
Dan R – Author