Here’s what you need to know about foster care
and your finances
Here’s what you need to know about foster care and your finances
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer, you probably have a lot of questions about payments, benefits and finances.
On this page we’ll answer all the questions we commonly get asked. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by one of the methods suggested at the bottom of this page.
How much do foster carers
The allowance offered to you as a Lika carer is up to £620 a week per child. This financial support covers both the expenses of the young person in your care, and a payment to you for providing professional services.
You can find out more about the payments, rewards and benefits our carers receive on our payments and allowances.
Do I get financial support
when setting up my house
for foster care?
You sure do. Once you have been approved we will offer you a £400 loan to help you get ready. It’s to help you buy things like bedding, beds and other items your young person will need.
Can I continue to work if
I become a foster carer?
It depends. Most of our carers still work while they’re fostering. But if you were looking after a child under the age of five, we would most likely need you to be home full-time.
Finding the balance between work and the needs of the young person in your care can be difficult. As part of your application process we would explore ideas with you about how you would be able to manage both (including the role of your support network).
As a carer you will be expected to be available to attend meetings, training, and support groups and to promote and support contact between your young person and their family. It would not be OK if a child came to live with you and day care was a huge part of their life.
Will fostering impact
my welfare benefits?
There are a few myths about how fostering allowances affect benefits. Generally, benefits are not impacted at all, as your fostering reward is not included in calculating:
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Disability Working Allowance
- Working Family Tax Credit.
about benefits & fostering
Foster carers are approved, rather than employed, by LiKa — and this status has a particular effect on means-tested benefits. Foster children are not classed as dependant, which means you will not be able to claim Working Family Tax Credit while they are in your care.
If a child is eligible for Disability Living Allowance payments, it may be that their parents or previous carers are in receipt of this allowance. Therefore, it cannot be swapped instantly over to you. There is a process to follow, which can take some time.
HMRC and The Fostering Network has some examples on their website to help you work out whether your finances would be impacted by becoming a foster carer. It also explains exemptions and tax-free thresholds.
Will I have to pay
You will. The Government requires that foster carers are registered as self-employed. Do not worry — this is something we can help you set up once you are approved to foster.