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What do foster carers earn?

happy family with shopping bags in a garden


Fees will be paid per child per week according to the age of the child placed. For example a foster carer with a child aged 16 will receive £479 a week (including allowances). A foster carer on a specialist therapeutic scheme can expect to receive up £579 a week. 

In addition to an increased fee, foster carers will also receive an allowance for each child. The amount is dependent on the age of the child.

Fee paid per child per week

Caring for a mainstream child:

  • £200 + allowance (0-10 years)
  • £250 + allowance (11-18 years)

There will be other circumstances where a different fee may apply: 

  • £250 + allowance (children with disabilities, any age)
  • £250 + allowance for parent and child x 2 (fee could be paid for both depending on complexity)
  • £250 Emergency Bed Scheme (new) for when carers on rota

Our specialist schemes: 

  • £250 PACE beds for weeks when carers on rota (police and criminal evidence placements for children that would otherwise spend the night at the police station)

  • Standard £50 + allowance (0-18 years)

This level is for carers with a defined and narrow approval. For example, 0-2 years with no complexity or availability which excludes children from specific groups of need/behaviour. 

Fee levels will be reviewed every two years to ensure they remain competitive.

In addition to this, we also pay certain expenses, such as travel for meetings about the child and taking them to specialist hospital appointments, and the cost of special equipment related to the child's needs.

Tax-free earnings thresholds and tax relief may apply, so your first £10,000 earned from fostering each year may be tax free, and some of your earnings over £10,000. 

Allowances (this is paid in addition to your fee and paid per child) 

From 1 April 2019, allowances were increased in line with inflation. Essex foster carers will now receive the following: 

Scale A             Aged 0-4 years                     £155.05

Scale B             Aged 5-10 years                   £176.68

Scale C             Aged 11-15 years                 £219.80

Scale D             Aged 16+ years                    £233.87

CWD Short Breaks 

Day rate                                                          £7.50 per hour

Overnight rate                                                £52

Fee paid short break carers                            £485 per week (for 5 days)

                                                                       £300 per week (for 3 days)

Specialist Schemes

We also have two specialist schemes; therapeutic and short breaks for children with disabilities.

Therapeutic foster carers who look after children who have suffered trauma or neglect can receive up to £560 per child, per week, depending on the child's age. They may also receive a retainer fee in times when they do not have a child placed with them.

Specialist foster carers who provide short breaks for children with disabilities, who display challenging behaviour and/or complex medical needs receive:

  • £485 per week plus £52 per night for 5 night placements
  • £300 per week plus £52 per night for 3 night placements

Once you're approved to provide short breaks full-time, you will also receive your fee during times when you do not have a child staying with you.

Click to read more about Specialist Schemes.


Next > Steps to become a foster carer

or to talk to our friendly recruitment team call 0800 801 530