Fees & allowances explained

It's important to consider fostering for the right reasons, but we also recognise that income is often an important consideration for many families thinking about fostering - after all, you need to know you can maintain financial stability whilst fostering, and continue to support your own family too. 

Foster carers receive two weekly payments - a fee, and an age related allowance. 

A weekly allowance payment is made for every foster child who is living with the foster carer, to cover the costs of food, clothing, pocket money, bills and activities. The allowance varies depending on the age of the foster child. 

Foster carers are also paid a weekly fee, which is paid in addition to the allowance received for the child.

Foster carers also receive additional payments for mileage, Christmas, birthdays, school holidays and sometimes school uniform. Details on all additional payments can be found further down this page.

We also offer a range of discounts and extra rewards on everything from shopping to holidays.

Example: Mr Smith fosters 9 year old Theo, and his 15 year old sister. He receives £395.66 per week in allowances and £185.44 per week in fees. He also receives additional payments for holidays, birthdays, Christmas and mileage.

For more in depth information on fostering and questions regarding fees and allowances, please contact the team.


A fostering allowance is paid to foster carers for each child in their care, to cover the needs of the child. Part of the allowance is a contribution towards extra utility bills that come from having an extra person living in your home, such as gas, water and electricity bills as well as phone calls and wear and tear on appliances. The rest of the allowance is for the child or young person’s food, clothes, trips, pocket money etc.

There is one extra week’s money paid for the child’s birthday towards a present and a celebration and there is one extra week’s money paid at Christmas for a present etc.

During the summer holiday, two weeks extra allowance is paid in instalments to help with extra expenditure and trips in the school holidays.

The standard weekly allowance paid to foster carers, for each child in their care, is:

Age range                                Weekly payment

0-4                                             £154.69

5-10                                           £176.20

11-15                                         £219.46

16+                                            £266.85


Fostering Fees

All foster carers are paid a weekly fee to reflect the type of placement they offer and the skills, experience and commitment they bring to fostering. The fee recognises the commitment that foster carers make to children in Somerset. 

Fees vary depending on the type of fostering a carer offers.

Standard Fostering Fees

 For mainstream fostering the weekly fees paid to foster carers are:

£79.33 fee per week, for the 1st child in placement (living with you in your home)

£106.11 fee per week, for 2nd and 3rd child in placement (living with you in your home)


Fostering Plus Progression Scheme

We make fee payments to all our foster carers, and carers can progress up a payment scale when they build up their experience and complete training. Our progression scheme provides a clear “career pathway” for foster carers to progress through the levels if they wish to do so. One of the scheme’s central principles is that the skills, experience and training of foster carers are recognised and properly regarded, so foster carer fees also increase through the levels of this scheme.

Approval for progression through the levels will depend on:

  • The carer’s assessed core skills
  • The length of experience as an approved carer
  • The training that has been undertaken

Foster carers can move up to a 'Fostering Plus' fee as part of our payment scale and progression scheme. 

Fostering Plus payments are: 

*£183.38 fee – 1st child in placement (living with you in your home)

£235.92 fee– 2nd and 3rd child in placement (living with you in your home)

*If there is a need for a carer of a school aged child to be home based, a fee of £231.29 may be applicable.

Fees for Specialist Fostering & other schemes

Several types of fostering come with a higher weekly fee as standard, to reflect the type of foster placement and care a foster carer provides. 

High Needs Fostering
The weekly fee for this type of fostering is £585pw, plus the relevant age-related allowance for the child in care. You can find out more about this specialist type of foster care here.

Parent and Child Fostering (also known as Family Assessment and Support Team FA&ST)
Parent and child foster carers receive a weekly fee of £463.59, plus the relevant allowance for the child and parent in their care. You can find out more about this specialist type of foster care, and the weekly payments here.

Short Break Care
Short Break carers care for children with a range of disabilities. Most Short Break carers will meet the requirements of Fostering Plus through the skills and experience that they have for this specific fostering task.  Short Break carers are paid a proportionate allowance and fee on the days they foster children. Those carers who care for children who are CHC funded (that is those with complex medical needs) will then receive the £375 pro rata.
More details on Short Break Care can be found here.

Children who attend Residential Education Provision
Carers receive the fostering allowance when the child stays, and a retainer of 50% of the allowance and fee for maintaining contact when they are not there.

Complex Medical Needs
This type of fostering has a weekly fee of £385.

Linked Foster Carer
Carers receive the relevant fostering allowance and fee (according to their own approval level) for the days that they care for the child. This will be calculated on a pro rata basis and calculated per day/half day rate. Carers will also receive a fostering retainer of £100.00 per week.

Stepping Stones
Supported lodgings providing a bedroom and guidance to young care leavers as they learn to live independently. 
Carers on this scheme for 16+ young people are paid depending on the level of support needed, which starts from £198.77 per week plus up to £27.50 for food, utilities etc., paid by the young person from their allowance. More information on Stepping Stones can be found here.

Staying Put
This relates to young people who remain with their current foster carers post 18, under the Staying Put Arrangements. Foster carers are paid the +16 allowances less the current rate of Jobseekers Allowance at £58.90 and the levels fee.

Kinship and Connected Persons 
Details on payments for Kinship and Connected Persons can be found here.


Additional Payments

In addition to the weekly fees and allowances, foster carers also receive extra allowance payments for Christmas, birthdays, school holidays and sometimes school uniform, as well as mileage payments. 

Mileage or public transport costs can be claimed when you go to meetings, contact with birth parents, school and medical appointments, plus clubs and activities for the child.

There are payments of £50 when a child starts primary school and £100 for transition to secondary school. If a child is received into care with inadequate uniform these additional payments may also apply. It is an expectation that a child moving from one foster home to another will take appropriate uniform with them.

We also offer payments to foster carers who help at information events, depending on individual circumstances, and carers may also choose to be available on the Emergency Duty Team vacancy list and will receive a £50 payment if a child is placed with them.

There are also retainer fees between child placements for some specialist schemes, such as FA&ST Parent and Child fostering.

You may also find the FAQ's section of the website, this blog post, and the 'Fees & Allowances Booklet' on the policies page helpful. 

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