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Can you make a living from fostering?

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Can you make a living from fostering?

Looking after children is one of the most rewarding tasks we can take on and nobody knows that more than our amazing foster families. It’s also a time-consuming job, no matter what age your children are. This means that working full-time can be difficult. Even working part-time or doing shift work can prove tricky as you work around the needs of your foster children.

We want all of our foster families to be able to give the best possible care 24/7, which is why we offer foster carer allowances. If you’ve been wondering if you can make a living from fostering the answer is yes, however, there are some things to take into consideration.

Expenses of fostering

Although we offer allowances for fostering, it’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll need to budget for the costs that come with taking care of a child. This includes extra costs to your food bills, utilities and anything else your foster child may need while with you.

Many foster carers use the allowance as their regular income, so it’s absolutely possible that you can make a living from fostering. You will have to take into consideration your income tax and national insurance, however. Foster carers are self-employed so you will have to put money aside to pay for your own taxes and make sure to complete a self-assessment return at the end of every tax year.

Different levels of foster care allowance

You may be wondering how much foster carers get paid. Allowances are paid fortnightly to help cover all expenses. Just like any job, the more experience you have the more allowance you receive.

Every fostering agency is different, but at Olive Branch Fostering we have four levels of allowances based on experience:

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Experienced

  • Advanced

Each of these levels has a different amount of allowance. Visit our benefit and allowance page to find out more. 

We also offer a one-off payment for birthdays, to make sure you can celebrate your child’s birthday as best as possible.

This payment increases the older the child is, with 0-4-year-olds receiving £50 and 11+ receiving £150. This birthday allowance is to cover the cost of presents and celebrations, to ensure all our children have an amazing birthday.

There is also Respite Element and Festival allowances to help cover these additional costs. Overall, we want to make sure that all our foster carers are completely financially supported so they can offer the best possible care for our children.

Working alongside fostering

If you do find that you need to subsidise your fostering allowance with a steady income, then you can definitely work full or part-time around your duties. This depends on your time and resources.

Although you can work, it’s worth remembering that foster carers need to be on hand 24/7. If you do need employment, then it’s important that you make your employer aware that you’ll need the flexibility to meet the needs of your foster children. You will also have to declare this extra income on your self-assessment each year.

Before you apply to be a foster carer, please think about the time commitment. Caring for children in care is a full-time job in itself and there are no set work hours. If you think you have the time to give to our children, then please get in touch to find out more.


Fostering insights

Date published

02 August 2022

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