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Why foster?

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Allowance and Income

You will receive a weekly fostering allowance per child that is in your care, plus mileage costs, as well as benefiting from tax exemption and tax relief. Our allowances are very competitive and reflect how highly we value our carers. Further details can be found below:

Fees and allowances

Whilst our foster carers’ main motivation is making a difference to the lives of the children in our care, they naturally still need to consider finances.

 

Every Foster Portsmouth foster carer receives a competitive fostering allowance for each child or young person in their care. The amount varies depending on the age of the child and is paid weekly, but is from £189 a week for under 4s up to £278 a week for over 16s.

 

The allowance covers costs such as food, travel, clothing, incidentals such as pocket money, gifts, hobbies and clubs, and a contribution towards housing costs and other household expenses associated with day-to-day living.

 

Foster carers also receive set allowances to cover additional costs whilst they are caring for a child such as those associated with birthdays, Christmas or other significant religious festival. In addition, they receive an activity allowance to cover school breaks and a holiday allowance for the child/ren in their care.

 

Foster carers can claim certain travel and expenses when transporting the foster child and attending meetings or training, and certain exceptional payments could also be made available if applicable.

 

Our carers also benefit from a skills fee depending on their skills and experience of up to £353 for a Level 3 carer per week. Carers with professional childcare experience or who are already an experienced foster carer with the skills and availability to care for young people with additional or more complex needs, will receive highly competitive level 2 or level 3 skill payments.

 

In most cases if your experience has been gained through looking after your own children, or the children of family and friends, you will receive a level 1 skills fee. However you will have the opportunity through fostering and training to gain the skills and experience to progress to a higher skill level. This will be discussed with you during your assessment to become a foster carer.

 

Foster carers also benefit from tax relief and exemptions, as well as support with necessary equipment such as cots or prams, access to some Portsmouth City Council staff benefits, regular activities, discounts from schemes such as the Portsmouth Leisure Card, and free membership to The Fostering Network and all of the further support and benefits that come with it.

How much will I receive?

Every Foster Portsmouth foster carer receives a competitive allowance for each child or young person in their care depending on their age, and a skills fee dependant on the carer’s skills and experience. Both are paid weekly.

 

Our fostering allowances are (per week):

 

Age 0-4              £189

Age 5-10            £208

Age 11-15          £238

Age 16-17          £278

 

Our skill fees are (per week):

 

Level 1          £40

Level 2          £197

Level 3          £353

 

Fostering payments do not usually affect any benefits you receive or tax you pay.

 

There are additional allowances available including a birthday or religious festival allowance of £189-£278 (depending on the age of the child), a holiday allowance of up to £500 per year and an activity allowance of between £378-556 (depending on the age of the child) for school holidays.

 

There are also additional fees for duties such as the emergency and on-call service, a mockingbird ‘hub’ carer role, or specific types of care such as parent and child fostering.

 

Example #1:

Pete cares for 13-year-old Holly and her 9-year-old brother Jacob. He receives fostering allowances of £238 to care for Holly and £208 to care for Jacob per week. As a Level 2 carer, he also receives a skills fee of £197 per week for each of the children. This provides him with a weekly amount of £840 per week. Pete has also received additional allowances for a holiday this year, activities for the school holidays, the children’s birthdays and for their Christmas gifts.

 

Example #2:

Sue and David are caring for baby Samuel who has some additional needs. They receive £189 per week fostering allowance to cover his nappies, formula, clothes and other day-to-day needs. Sue is also a Level 3 carer so receives a weekly skills fee of £353. This provides them with a weekly amount of £542 per week. The couple also receive additional allowances including for activities they take Samuel to, his birthday and for Christmas/a religious festival. They will also receive a £500 holiday allowance if they choose to take him away this year.

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