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Fostering allowance

This is a weekly sum of money paid to foster carers to cover the cost of caring for a looked after child. It is paid by children’s services or an independent fostering agency. Independent agencies often pay a higher fostering allowance than that paid by children’s services.

The allowance is payable to all approved foster carers who are caring for a child. This is the case whether the foster carer is unrelated or a kinship foster carer. Kinship foster carers should not be paid less than unrelated foster carers. The duty to pay a fostering allowance applies from the date a child is first placed with the foster carer.

Allowances are set locally but every year the government sets a minimum fostering allowance. Foster carers must not be paid less than this amount. The minimum allowance varies. It depends on the child’s age and where the foster carers lives. The allowance is higher in the South East and London than in the rest of England.

Foster carers may be paid more money if they have specific skills. Some foster carers are trained to care for children with very challenging behaviour.

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