Fostering Fees and Allowances from 1 April 2019/20
You will receive a payment for fostering a child through the Brighton & Hove fostering service. There are two parts to the payment: an allowance and a fostering fee. The allowance covers the costs of caring for a particular child or young person and the extra costs related to fostering. The fostering fee recognises the service, skills and training completed by the carer.
You will get an allowance and a fostering fee for every child you foster, except for parent and baby placements (see the payment table below). The allowance depends on the age of the child, and the fostering fee depends on the number of years experience you have had as a foster carer.
You will be expected to budget and manage your fostering payment as you would for your own family. The allowance covers pocket money, fostered children’s holidays, birthday and Christmas presents, school costs, transport, leisure activities and clothing. Additional discretionary payments can be made only in certain limited circumstances, such as costs for setting up a new placement and school trips costing more than £200. We also pay your membership of the Fostering Network, which has many valuable benefits.
Payments Table 2019/20
|Age Of Child|
|Newly approved:||Allowance (per child)||£156*||£196*||£236*||£392**|
|After two years:||Allowance (per child)||£156*||£196*||£236*||£392**|
|After five years:||Allowance (per child)||£156*||£196*||£236*||£392**|
*£5 savings contribution will be deducted
**Allowance covers living costs for parent and baby. If parent is under 18, £5 savings contribution x2 will be applied
If you were a newly approved foster carer with one child aged 5-11 you would receive £357 per week: £196 for the child and £161 for your fee. Of the £196 for the child, £5 will automatically be transferred into the child's savings account.
If you have over two years experience and have one child aged 0-4 and one child aged 12-18 you would receive £736 per week: £156 for the first child (less £5 savings), £236 for the second child (less £5 savings) and £344 for your fee (£172 x 2).
If you have five years experience and have one child aged 0-4 and one parent and baby placement you would receive £1,160 per week: £156 for the first child (less £5 savings), £392 for the parent and baby placement (less £10 savings if the parent is under 18) and £612 for your fee (£204 x 3)
Discounts for Brighton & Hove Foster Carers
Did you know that if you are a carer for Brighton & Hove City Council, you can get discounts across the City. Our discounts are changing and expanding all the time. Log-in to our dedicated ‘Carer’s log-in’ section of the website where you will see all the latest discounts and how to get them.
These are the principles behind the payment scheme:
- it is simple, fair and easy to understand
- it enables Brighton & Hove to be competitive with local independent fostering agencies and other local authorities
- it recognises the complex task of fostering other people’s children
- the care payment will meet the Department for Education’s national minimum fostering allowance
Foster carers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes. There is a simplified income tax scheme for foster carers, sometimes referred to as ‘foster care relief’; from April 2010 onwards it will be called ‘qualifying care relief’. The scheme uses an income threshold to determine how much tax, if any, is due.
Anyone who is self employed must register to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. Where foster care is the only source of self employed income and taxable profit is low, a foster carer may apply for the Small Earnings Exception. Further information about tax and national insurance is available on HM Review and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/hs236.pdf
For more advice on fostering, tax and national insurance contact Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you currently claim welfare benefits you are likely to be able to continue to claim while fostering. Foster carers are approved rather than employed, and this status has a particular effect on means tested benefits. In the main, fostering payments when a child is placed with a foster carer are disregarded when calculating welfare benefits, additionally foster carers may be able to claim working tax credit.
For more advice on fostering and benefits contact Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or email email@example.com
Becoming a foster carer does not have to mean giving up employment. It’s true that foster carers are expected to be available to care for children, support contact between a child and their family and to attend meetings, training and support groups, but depending on your circumstances, you can sometimes foster and continue to work flexible hours; it just may make a difference to the type of fostering that you can do. Visit our working and fostering page for more information
Previous financial problems should not prevent you from fostering. You will need to be able to show that you are now financially secure enough to provide a stable home for any children that are placed with you, and that you are able to manage the fostering allowances paid to you.