Payments and allowances

We pay our foster carers a tax-free financial allowance for each child in their care. This allowance is to cover the cost of looking after a child. The amount that you’ll receive depends on the type of fostering and the age of the child.

Foster carers are paid on a weekly basis

Payments are calculated on a daily pro-rata basis and the money goes straight into your bank account.

Foster carers also receive a holiday grant and allowances for birthdays and Christmas or festivals for each child.

General fostering

For general fostering, the weekly rates and annual allowances paid to our foster carers are:

Age of child Weekly rate Birthday allowance Christmas allowance Holiday allowance
Up to 4 years £310 £179 £179 £356
5 to 10 years £328 £196 £196 £392
11 to 12 years £470 £223 £223 £447
13 to 15 years £489 £242 £242 £484
16 to 17 years £535 £288 £288 £576

You'll receive an additional one-off payment if the child needs initial clothing. This ranges from £401 to £631, depending on age of the child.

There's no payment if you do not have a child in placement.

Other types of fostering

Different rates of pay are offered for specialist fostering and fostering children with autism or disabilities.

For more information about specific payments and allowances, you can email or call 0161 474 3400.


You can claim mileage for transporting a child to school and contact visits if you go over the 20 miles per week that is included in the basic allowance.

Mileage can be claimed at 46.9p per mile for each child that you transport.

You'll be eligible for tax relief

As a foster carer, you'll be self-employed. This means that you'll need to file tax returns. In your tax return, you’ll be able to claim qualifying care relief which includes:

  • a tax exemption of up to £18,140 per household

  • tax relief for every week you foster a child:

    • £375 for each child under 11 years of age
    • £450 for each child 11 years of age or older

You can find more information about tax arrangements for foster carers on the GOV.UK website.

You can still become a foster carer if you receive benefits

If you receive government benefits, these are not affected by any payments that you receive from fostering.

Foster carers are classed as self-employed and any child that you care for is not counted as part of your family for benefit purposes. We offer an advice and information service which gives free, independent and confidential advice on State and Local Authority benefits and Tax Credits.

Savings for the children

Every child will have either a Junior ISA or a Child's Trust Fund opened by The Share Foundation. Only the child can access the funds and only when they are 18 years old.

You can find more information about the steps to become a foster carer on our fostering journey webpage.

Find information about your fostering journey