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Payment and allowances for foster carers


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. 

Current payments and allowances 

Swindon Borough 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 2017/2018 are set out below.

Childs allowance 

This money is for foster carers to use for the needs of the child

Age of child Allowance
0-4 years £147.00
5-10 years £167.00
11-15 years £240.00
16-17 years £254.00

Foster carer fee

We operate a skill fee scheme for foster carers. This allows all carers through skill development and gaining experience of caring for other people’s children to potentially receive a basic fee per week for each child they care for in addition to the fostering allowance. Those carers that want to continue to develop their skills in order to care for young people with more complex needs will potentially be able to move up through the Skills Levels. 

  • Level One (Including Connected Persons) - £58 per child per week (plus Allowance)
  • Level Two - £80 per child per week (plus Allowance)
  • Level Three - £135 per child per week (plus Allowance)
  • Level Four - Specialist Out of Hours Emergency/Bail & Remand: £250 per placement, per week (plus Allowance); Parent and Child: Assessment Placement £615 per week, Support Placement £460 per week (plus Allowance); Significantly challenging adolescents: £250 per placement per week (plus Allowance)    

How payments are made

  • Payments are made fortnightly in arrears.
  • Payment is made for each night of the placement. 

Travel expenses

  • A proportion of the fostering allowance covers all transport need of the child in placement
  • 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.

Initial clothing grant 

  • 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.
  • School uniforms will also be paid for on request up to a certain amount 

Birthdays, holidays and Christmas/religious festivals 

  • Allowances are paid for birthdays, Christmas/religious festivals and holidays to cover extra costs incurred at these times.

Special educational (school) holiday trips/holidays 

  • 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).

Temporary absences - respite care for children (overnight or day care) 

  • 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.
Last updated: 21 June 2017. Was this information helpful?

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