Fostering and finance
Are foster carers paid?
Foster caring is increasingly seen as a profession, and as such carers are paid an allowance for each child in their care. This can vary depending on the local authority, the child’s age(s) and the level of skills and experience of the foster carer. Basic minimum allowance rates are published on Directgov for the current year or you can request an information pack from the fostering team for more details about the allowance rates for Richmond upon Thames.
I currently work, will fostering mean I have to stop?
Fostering can be demanding. The subject of whether or not to continue working whilst being a foster carer comes down to a couple of issues: the age of the fostered child and the flexibility of the job you do outside of fostering.
The age of a fostered child can play a part in deciding whether or not to continue working. For example, younger children will be part of the family during the day requiring continual attention, whilst older children and young people may be out of the home attending school or college. The carer’s current job must also allow them the flexibility to attend frequent meetings and ongoing training. The fostering team is happy to talk through any concerns you may have, or foster carers are on hand to give you their insights.
I’m on benefits, can I still foster?
In the majority of cases, it is possible to foster whilst claiming the most common types of benefits. The fostering team would advise speaking with your local benefits office to discuss your current situation to make certain.
Will I be employed by the Council?
The majority of foster carers are technically self-employed. This can be the first time for many people that they have been in this situation, and may be worried about the legal and tax implications. Whilst support is available from the fostering team, the Fostering Network and Fostertalk have dedicated advice specialists at hand. The HMRC also have a fact sheet to help guide you.
Call: 0800 085 7072