Fostering and finance

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.

Rates of pay

Basic minimum allowance rates are published on GOV.UK for the current year or you can request an information pack for more details about the allowance rates for Richmond upon Thames.

Continuing work

You will not necessarily have to stop working, although 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
  • 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.

Your current job must also allow you the flexibility to attend frequent meetings and ongoing training. We are happy to talk through any concerns you may have, or foster carers are on hand to give you their insights.


In the majority of cases, it is possible to foster whilst claiming the most common types of benefits. We would advise you tro speak to your local benefits office to discuss your current situation before you make any decisions.

Benefits cannot be claimed in respect of a child who is looked after by the Local Authority, e.g. Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit, or free school meals.


Foster carers are not council employees, they are technically self-employed.

This may be the first time that you have been in this situation, and you may be worried about the legal and tax implications. Support is available from the Fostering Team, and The Fostering Network and Fostertalk have dedicated advice specialists at hand.

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Updated: 28 November 2017