Becoming a foster carer gives you the chance to provide a loving, safe and secure home for a child who may have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect, so it’s no surprise that it can be a challenging yet hugely rewarding experience. As a prospective foster carer, it’s crucial to understand the financial support that is available to you,
So that you can provide the best possible care for your foster child.
What is a Foster Carer Allowance?
Foster carer allowances are payments made to foster carers to fund the expenses of housing and looking after a foster child. The allowances are intended to cover the cost of food, clothing, utilities, and other expenses associated with caring for a child. How much do foster parents get paid?
The amount of the allowance may depend on a number of factors including the child’s age, the care level required, and the area in which you live. It also differs depending on the local authority or independent fostering agency.
There are also additional allowances available for foster carers who provide specialist care, such as caring for children with disabilities or providing respite care.
Understanding the Allowance Structure
Foster carer allowances are made up of two parts: the child allowance and the foster parent allowance. The child allowance is designed to provide for the everyday expenses of caring for a foster child, such as food and clothing. The foster parent allowance is designed to reward people for their experience, time, and dedication.
It can be used to cover any additional costs, such as providing the chance for them to engage in activities or school outings. It may also include an element for the foster carer’s time and expertise.
The child allowance varies according to the level of care a child needs. For example, a foster carer who fosters a child with a disability may receive a higher fostering allowance for specialist care.
The Importance of Fair Allowance
Fair allowances are essential to ensure that foster carers can provide the best possible care for their foster child or children. The costs of caring for a foster child can be significant, and it’s important that foster carers are not left out of pocket because of providing care.
Adequate allowances can also help to attract and retain foster carers, ensuring that there are enough foster carers available to provide safe and stable homes for the children who need them.
The Impact of Allowances on Foster Children
Fair allowances not only benefit foster carers, but also the children that they care for. Children who feel that they are a financial burden on their carers may struggle with feelings of shame or guilt, which can impact their emotional wellbeing. Fair allowances alleviate these concerns and allow foster children to gain access to opportunities that enable them to settle in their new home and build positive relationships.
Understanding foster carer allowances is an essential part of the fostering journey. If you are considering becoming a foster carer, take the time to research the allowances available to you, so that you can make an informed decision.
Also read: Starting as a Foster Parent: Improve Your Knowledge and Understanding of the Process