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Fostering as a career

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Can you make a living from fostering?

Of course, people foster because they care about children's physical and emotional well-being. However, it's perfectly normal to wonder about pay and whether you can make a living through this work. 

Foster carers receive a regular allowance to cover costs, including food, clothes, travel, and other expenses. Additionally, you might be eligible for other payments, such as one-off sums that recognise your experience and time invested. 

At Nexus Fostering, we give carers an allowance to reflect their effort and dedication. This amount can increase over time and is based on the type of fostering you are providing. Fostering can give you financial security and peace of mind. 

Keep in mind that all foster carers are self-employed in the UK, so you'll have to complete a self-assessment and pay tax. However, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced qualified care relief, which grants carers a tax-free amount to be deducted from their total fostering payments. 

What's more, you may be entitled to certain benefits, including working tax credit. 


How much does a foster carer get paid?

Allowances vary from private agency to local authority, with some paying more than others. Several factors affect the fostering allowance, including where you live, your foster child’s age and if they have any special needs. For example, therapeutic foster carers with advanced training can receive a higher allowance. The increase recognises the skills and knowledge you need to take on this type of placement, alongside supplementing medical and educational costs. 


What are the benefits of choosing to foster as a career?

There’s a multitude of benefits when you choose fostering as a career. Not only will you be changing a young person’s life for the better by offering them an environment where they can thrive, but you’ll also expand your personal and professional horizons. 



There’s nothing more rewarding and heart-warming than making a positive difference in a child’s life. Unfortunately, many foster children come from unsafe homes, and some may have suffered from abuse. Most haven’t had a childhood because they’ve been forced to grow up too quickly. Consequently, foster children struggle to trust others and build healthy, nourishing relationships. 

Your role as a foster carer is to turn this around through unconditional love, patience and encouragement. Day by day, with expert guidance, you’ll help your foster child manage their struggles and difficulties. Together, you’ll create a brighter future brimming with opportunities they may not have otherwise had. 



Besides helping children, fostering facilitates self-development for carers. Along the way, you’ll tap into strength, compassion and resilience you didn’t even realise you had. Foster carers often report increased awareness, especially when looking after children from different backgrounds than their own. 

Fostering gives you a chance to learn something new. You’ll develop your unique caregiving style, understand how to address the needs of individuals effectively and gain valuable therapeutic tools. Everything you pick up can then be used to improve your communication and problem-solving abilities. 

Training courses 

When you become a foster carer, hundreds of training courses are at your fingertips to ensure you have the latest skills and know best practices. 

Some are mandatory, covering the basics of health and safety, whereas others provide extensive information about caring for children with complex and specialist needs. Supplementary training might address topics like domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, and long-term neglect. 

Head to our fostering as a career page on our website to find out more - Fostering as a career | Nexus Fostering 


Fostering insights


  • Foster Carer
  • Advice
  • Support
  • Therapeutic

Date published

12 January 2024

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