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How much do foster carers get paid in London?

London Private Fostering Agency Allowances

All London foster carers registered with Independent Agencies receive an allowance and fee to cover the cost of caring for a child in their home.

The allowance is similar to a ‘boarding out allowance’. It covers the full cost of looking after each child, and is reviewed annually.

For foster carers working with an Independent Fostering Agency the allowance and fee is set by the individual agency.

The total payment can be dependent on age and level of care, however is a minimum average £450 a week per child placed rising to £1000 for specialist placements like Mother and Baby.

Payments Summary

  • Independent Fostering Agencies pay a fostering allowance for each foster child.
  • The allowance pays for the foster child’s day to day care.
  • Fostering Agencies also pay foster carers a professional fee.
  • The fee is an income payment for the foster carer.
  • The allowance and fee average a total weekly minimum payment of £450 for each child.


Example of income

Foster carer with one foster child
Stanley is a foster carer looking after year old Reggie. He is new to fostering and receives a payment of £450 per week.

For the year, Stanley is paid:

(£450 x 52 weeks)     =             £23,400

Taxable income          =             £0

Total paid                    =             £23,400

London Council Fostering Payments

Weekly Allowance

The National guidelines below are recommend basic levels of Allowances for foster carers which London Councils use.

RatesAge 0 to 2Age 3 to 4Age 5 to 10Age 11 to 15Age 16 to 17

The Fostering Allowance is paid to the foster carer for the day to day needs of the child.

The Council Allowance covers:

The costs of caring for a child including food, clothing, transport, pocket money, hobbies, savings, mileage, school meals and other child related needs.

The allowance will not affect any Benefits currently received and will only be paid when a child is in your home.

Other allowances are paid to carers for birthdays, holidays and other events special to individual foster children. The payments take into account the fact that fostering children costs more than caring for birth children.

Council Weekly Fees

Council Fees tend to be dependent on which level of fostering the carer has reached dependent on experience and skills.


Three Levels of Fostering.

Most new carers will start on level one which pays about £30 for each child for the first year of their fostering career. On completion of specific training, and personal development within the first year of fostering, foster carers can progress to level two which pays £57 per child.

After further foster carer experience, reaching level three pays £113 per week per child aged 0 – 4 and £139 per week per child for 5 – 18 year olds.

The Fees are the reward or profit paid to the foster carer for their own use.

Income Tax

How much tax?

Foster carers are entitled to an income tax exemption up to a certain amount for their fostering. UK foster carers generally pay no tax on their fostering income. Fostering one child continually for a tax year, you could receive:

A personal allowance of £11,000 plus a fixed rate of £10,000. As well as a weekly rate of tax relief of £200 per week for each child under the age of 11 years old and £250 per week for each over 11 years old.

Does foster carer's income matter?

Would you love to be a foster carer and think you would be good at it?

Is the thought of not being able to afford your rent or mortgage, giving up your job or going part time the main reasons you don’t apply to be a foster carer? Then it’s just common sense to talk about the money you can earn!

Fostering is now a career, thousands of carers earn a comfortable living from their hard work and the commitment they give to the children they look after.

Yes, there will be some people who put the financial rewards before their love of children, but the application and assessment process is designed to check if the care/money bias is out of balance.

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