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What Do Foster Care Allowances Cover? A Curious Peek Inside

The foster care allowance is a vital form of support intended to prevent the financial side of things from becoming a burden.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on November 28, 2023

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Foster carers step up to the plate for all sorts of reasons, but they all share a big heart and a will to give kids a bit of stability when they need it most.

In the UK, foster carers get an allowance to help with the costs of looking after a foster child.

It’s pretty important because it means people from all walks of life can support a child in need without having to stress about the financials.

Now, you might be wondering what this allowance actually covers.

It’s a fair question—after all, kids don’t come with a price tag, and the costs of looking after them can add up fast.

So, what’s included in this allowance, and what’s not?

Is it enough to cover the school trips and soccer practice, or just the basics like food and clothes?

Let’s take a closer look – not because we’re nosy – but because we’re curious to understand how the system works and ensure it’s doing the best for the carers and the kids.

So, grab a cup, and let’s dig into the ins and outs of foster care allowances in the UK—no jargon, just the plain facts.


The Basics of Foster Care Allowances


Every foster carer in the UK receives a weekly allowance, whether from the local authority or agencies like

This allowance is intended to cover the costs associated with the day-to-day care of the foster child.


Breakdown of the Foster Care Allowance in the UK


Day-to-day living


The majority of the allowance is to help with the child’s daily living expenses.

This includes food, clothing, and travel.

School uniforms, everyday attire, three meals a day, snacks, and transport to school or other activities fall under this category.


Education and leisure


The allowance also covers the child’s education and leisure.

This supports costs related to schooling, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and personal development opportunities, ensuring the child enjoys a balanced, fulfilling life.


Special occasions


The allowance also accounts for special occasions, birthdays, and cultural or religious celebrations, enabling foster carers to buy gifts or contribute to events that mark these milestones.


Areas That Foster Care Allowances do not cover


Home modification


While the allowance is comprehensive, it doesn’t extend to modifying or upgrading the carer’s home to accommodate the child unless specific needs dictate such modifications, and additional funding is approved.


Challenges and Solutions


Despite the support provided, some foster carers find that unexpected costs can emerge.

It is essential for prospective foster carers to be prepared, to manage their finances wisely, and to be aware of the various support networks and additional funding opportunities available to bridge any potential gaps.


The Immeasurable Rewards of Fostering


While the allowance assists with tangible costs, the intangible benefits of fostering often outweigh them.

By opening their homes and hearts, foster carers go on a journey of mutual growth and learning.

The shared experience, the bonds formed, and the lessons learned aren’t quantifiable.

The pride in watching a foster child overcome challenges, the joy of shared laughter, and the strength built from facing obstacles together hold immense value.

While no allowance can cover these invaluable moments, they form the heart and soul of the fostering journey, making every challenge faced truly worthwhile.

Becoming a foster carer is a deeply rewarding journey, filled with opportunities to impact a child’s life profoundly.

The foster care allowance is a crucial support designed to ensure that the financial aspect does not become a burden, allowing carers to focus on providing a nurturing environment.

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