Payments and allowances

Find out about the different allowances available to our foster carers.

Foster carer and young adult looking at a laptop

Financial wellbeing

We recognise that income is an important consideration to people when they are deciding if fostering is right for them and their family, and aim to provide as much information as possible regarding payments and allowances.

Types of payments and allowances

We provide weekly allowances to foster carers based on the age of the child, which are to cover the costs of the child’s food, clothes, pocket money, and activities.

Our carers then progress through the payment levels 1-4, gaining experience, further training, and the vital skills needed to make a difference to Leicestershire’s children and young people in care.

Foster carers will be paid mileage for travel to and from medical appointments, family-time/contact, and also for journeys to and from schools or other places of education if they are out of the foster carers home catchment area (2-3 miles).

There are several other allowances available from Leicestershire County Council to support you to look after our children. These include:

  • a start-up fee of £350.00 to help you prepare for your fostering journey
  • uniform and clothing allowances
  • a festival allowance paid for religious holidays
  • a birthday allowance, to ensure our children and young people get to enjoy their special days
  • holiday allowances and help with school trips abroad

Most foster carers don't have to pay income tax on their earnings.

We are delighted that the Qualifying Care Relief payment has been increased. The Qualifying Care Relief fixed amount per household, per year, has been increased for UK foster carers to £18,400.

The fostering fees and allowances have also seen an increase from April 2024. You can see them in the documents and examples below.

Please give us a call on 0116 305 05 05, email us at fostering@leics.gov.uk, or contact us via the Tell me about fostering form, if you would like us to explain the financial side of fostering and consider your individual circumstances.

If you would like to consider what your income could be, then please see HMRC’s guidance on foster carers and tax

As a guide, here are our current payments to foster carers, per child, per week:

We believe that payment is not just about money! Take a look at the training and support we offer to all of our foster carers.

Examples of payments for our foster carers

We have some case studies based on 2024/25 payments and allowances. Please see the examples below of some of our different fostering roles and the payments they attract.

Where you see Level 1 carer, this is the start out level for new foster carers.

All carers are supported to progress through the skills level from 1-4 through training and personal development. Some applicants may start at a higher level with relevant skills or experience.

Level 1
Young boy and girl playing together

Janu and Rob's story

Janu and Rob are level 1 carers, they foster Jack who is 11 years old and loves football!

They receive £266.25 per week in fostering allowances, plus additional payments for holidays, birthdays, religious festivals, and their mileage.

When they were first approved, they received a £350 set up allowance to get ready for their fostering journey.

Paul and Richard's story

Paul and Richard are level 1 mainstream foster carers, for Abbie, who is 6 and her little brother Seb who is 3.

They receive fostering allowances of £446.25 per week.

When Abbie started school, Paul and Richard received a school uniform allowance of £129.50 to kit her out ready for her new venture

Level 2
Foster carer and a young boy reading a book together

Hamza and Sameera's story

Hamza and Sameera are level 2 carers and foster Zahir who is nearly 1, his brother Faisal who is 12, and their big sister Jasmin who is 16 (very busy household!).

They receive £948 per week in fostering allowances. They also receive additional payments for holidays, birthdays, religious festivals - and their mileage is paid.

Level 3
Foster carer tying a young school girl's tie

Gemma and Mya's story

Gemma and her partner Mya are level 3 carers and foster Faye who is 14.

They receive £372.75 per week fostering allowance.

They are taking Faye on holiday with them this year and will receive a holiday allowance for this too.

Parent and Child
Foster carer helping a young mum with her baby

Lynette's story

Lynette is a Parent and Child foster carer. Her role is to support and encourage parent and child bonding and to help plan for their future.

She currently receives £838.60 per week fostering allowance.

When Lynette started fostering, she received a £350 set up allowance to get a room ready for fostering.

Supported Lodgings Host
Foster carer and a young boy walking a dog

Tim's story

Tim (56) has enjoyed helping several young people aged 16+ on their journey to gain independence.

He works full-time but most days he gets home in time to cook up a meal for them to share and chat about their day together. Tim has supported 4 young people so far and says:

It’s simple really. If you like young people, understand some of the issues they may face, and can just offer a helping hand, this role is perfect for you. It’s great to see them grow in confidence and go off into the world.

 Tim receives £306.20 per week as a Supported Lodgings Host.

Supported Lodgings Plus
Foster carer and a young boy fixing a car together

Mike's story

Mike is a SLH+ (Supported Lodgings Plus) carer. He doesn’t work, so he is available for Jack (16), the young person he cares for.

Mike takes Jack to college and supports him to gain as much independence as possible.

Mike receives an allowance of £601.20 per week in addition to mileage etc.

Pathway
Foster carer and two young girls sitting in living room and enjoying their time together

Tim and Nicole's story

Tim and Nicole are Pathway carers for Issi, who is 14, and Charlotte, who is 16.

Tim is a teacher at a local college, so has lots of experience with young people.

They receive £546.90 per week per young person, and an additional £808.50 in fostering allowances per week.

One2One
Foster carer and a young boy in pyjamas going up the stairs

Meg's story

Meg is one of our specialist foster carers. She provides One2One care for Zach who has been with her for 3 months now.

Meg previously worked in a school supporting children with Special Education Needs.

She receives £818.30 per week in addition to £187 per week in fostering allowance.

Tell me more about fostering

Sign up for the Thinking about Fostering newsletter - We’ll send you our monthly newsletter, direct to your inbox, full of information about fostering, the application process, and case studies of our carers and children.

30 hours funded childcare for foster parents

Contact us

Are you thinking about fostering, but not sure if financially this would work for you? Have a chat with the team – that’s why we’re here. We understand finances are important and will work with you to figure out if fostering will be affordable for you.

Whatever your worries and thoughts about fostering may be, we are here to help you figure it out.  

Fill in the form and we’ll get back to you.

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1. By phone

Call us on 0116 305 0505

Lines are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (8.30am - 4.30pm), Tuesday and Thursday (8.30am - 8pm)

Or text WEAREFAMILY to 60777

2. Using our secure fostering enquiry form

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