Are You Considering Fostering in Salisbury?
Are you looking for a career change, or are you passionate about making a difference in your local area? Simply Fostering is currently looking for foster carers in the Salisbury area, and whether you’re an experienced carer or completely new to fostering, we’d very much like to hear from you. We urgently need new carers from all cultures, backgrounds, and religions, whether married, single or living with a partner.
We are looking for foster carers in Salisbury for children of all ages and circumstances. To be eligible to become a foster carer there are some common criteria that most agencies look for:
- You need to be at least 21 years old—although by law you can apply to foster from the age of 18
- You must have a spare bedroom large enough for a young person to live in
- You must be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
- You must be able to pass an enhanced background check
- You should be in good health and able to give the time to care for a vulnerable young person
Often, people who would otherwise make fantastic carers, rule themselves out because they don’t know that they’d be suitable, or they just don’t know how to apply. We understand that the decision to become a foster carer can be a daunting one and that sometimes you’ll need someone to help guide you through the application process. That’s why our recruitment team are always on hand to help answer any questions you might have. Complete an online enquiry form and we’ll be very happy to help you get started.
Fostering as a Career
Over the years fostering has gradually transitioned from being a purely voluntary endeavour to the point where it can now be considered a financially viable alternative to other forms of paid employment. All foster carers receive an allowance to cover the costs of fostering and fee payments are normally made on top of this—although there is no legal requirement to do so.
To ensure that no foster carer is ever out of pocket the Department for Education has introduced recommended national minimum allowances. The minimum allowances are calculated based on the minimum amount that each foster carer needs to meet the cost of caring for a foster child. The minimum amount for infants is £127 a week, rising to £191 a week for 16-17-year olds. But carers in the South East and London receive more to reflect the higher cost of living. A full breakdown can be accessed here.
Most independent foster agencies pay a fee on top of this, with most carers receiving on average £450 per week, per child. However, because this fee isn’t regulated it varies hugely across the country, depending on the agency you foster with and the type of fostering you do. But if you apply through Simply Fostering, we guarantee to pair you with the agencies offering the best fees and support in your area.
It’s also important to know that foster carers are technically classed as self-employed and therefore must pay Income Tax and National Insurance. But the government currently has quite generous tax allowances for foster carers, and most carers pay very little, if any, tax. Foster carers are entitled to:
- Personal tax-exemption allowances of up to £11,500
- Fixed tax exemption rates of £10,000, exclusive to foster carers
- £200 per week for each child under the age of 11-years-old and £250 per week for each child aged 11 or over
Therefore, if you’re fostering just one child aged over 11, you’d have a tax exemption of up to £34,500 on your fostering income. If you’re fostering two children over 11, you’d have a tax exemption of up to £47,500, and so on. HMRC has a useful e-learning course to help you calculate your tax.
Furthermore, any fees and allowances you receive as a foster carer will not be taken into account as earnings or income, so it will not affect the amount of Universal Credit or Housing Benefits you currently receive, and you can also claim a Council Tax Reduction.
We appreciate this can be quite a lot of information to digest all at once, so if you have any questions about the financial benefits of becoming a foster carer, or if you’d just like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’d be happy to help.