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Payments and allowances

You will receive a weekly allowance for each child in your care. This is based on The Fostering Network recommended rate. The allowance varies according to the age of the child or young person and is intended to cover full child care costs including food and clothing, household costs, personal care, pocket money and travel costs. This allowance does not usually affect any benefit you receive or tax you pay.

You may also receive additional payments which reflect your circumstances, experience, training completed and the type of child you care for. 

  • Wiltshire Council is committed to paying foster carers generous fostering allowances for each child in foster care in line with The Fostering Network recommended fostering allowance rates.
  • The weekly rates for fostering allowances for the year 2019/2020 are set out below.
  • Foster carers will be entitled to 56 “weekly” payments. The extra four weeks are to allow for expenditure connected with birthdays, Christmas or other religious festival and holidays.

Mainstream fostering payments for each child consist of both an 'age related allowance' and 'skills fee payment' = Total weekly payment per child

Fostering age related allowance

Age bandRates per weekRates per day
0 - 4 years£151.62£21.66
5 - 10 years£172.97£24.71
11 - 15 years£214.97£30.71
16 years (to end year 11)£261.52£37.36
16 - 18 years (post year 11)£276.01£39.43

Fostering skills fees

Skills level
£ per week, per child
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

Example 1

Mr Griffiths is a new carer assessed as skill level 2, he fosters a 9 year old child.  This  means he gets a  weekly skill level fee of £95.62 plus an age related allowance of £172.97, so in total he receives a weekly payment of £268.59.

Example 2

Mrs and Mrs Smith foster 14 and 16 years old brothers.  They are experienced carers assessed as being skill level 4.  They receive a weekly skills fee payments of £205.94 per child (£205.94 x 2 = £411.88); and an age related allowance of £214.97 for the 14 year old and £261.52 for the 16 year old. In total they receive a weekly payment of £888.37.

Both sets of carers get 4 x weekly additional age related allowance payments per child to help with birthday, holiday and Christmas or another religious festival of choosing.

Carers will be able to move up  through the skills levels as they gain experience.

  • Payments are made fortnightly in arrears.
  • Payment is made for each night of the placement.
  • The fostering allowance will cover the cost of most routine journeys but expenses that arise from additional trips will be met by the department.
  • Public transport costs at 45p per mile will be paid.
  • The department will provide foster carers with equipment considered necessary for the welfare of their foster child.
  • This may include cots, beds, pushchairs, playpens, stair gates, car safety seats, etc.
  • All equipment is on loan and, unless worn out, is returnable when a placement ends.
  • Some children may need extra money when they first arrive for a reasonable wardrobe. A clothing grant may be available for this; you should discuss with your social worker.
  • Allowances are paid for birthdays, Christmas/religious festivals and holidays to cover extra costs incurred at these times.
  • The cost of normal school trips will be met from the basic fostering allowance, however exceptional school holidays will be paid for separately by the department once during a child’s primary education (7 to 11 years) and once during the secondary period of education (11 plus).
  • It is recognised that from time to time carers may need a short break from a placement and this is looked at as part of the placement plan.
  • Insurance for foster carers is covered by the council.
  • Copies of the full insurance policies are available for inspection in the main offices.
  • An abbreviated summary of the cover is in the Foster Care Handbook.
  • From April 2013, the rules about how Housing Benefit (HB) was paid in the social sector changed.
  • If you live in a council or a housing association home and are thinking about becoming a foster carer, you might have already heard that the new rules mean HB will not be paid to cover bedrooms for foster children.
  • Wiltshire Council appreciates the vital service provided by foster carers and aims to make sure that Housing Benefit claimants, living in the social sector, continue to be able to foster children.
  • The council has a discretionary housing fund that can assist households in this situation. If you would like to know more, please contact the council’s Revenues and Benefits team (Tel: 0300 456 0110).

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Last updated: 21 October 2019 | Last reviewed: 21 October 2019