0845 331 2363
Quality, Equality & Safety in Care

Fostering Income Calculator

Income combines carer and child allowances, fees and expenses. (Figures for June 2012, carers in England, when paid via an independent fostering agency)

calculatorA Foster Carer’s Income is tax-free (unless over a limit – see below), and does not affect state benefits. Use our fostering income calculator to work out how much you could expect to receive as a foster parent, and also to calculate your taxation exemption threshold.

The UK is currently very short of Foster Carers – The Fostering Network estimates that another 8,750 foster families are needed in 2012. However, fostering a child or young person is not a voluntary service; it is a vocation, therefore foster carers receive an income: an allowance to cover costs, and fees for their efforts.

VARIABLES – Childrens’ ages and risk factors affect fostering income – four levels of age group and four levels of risk. Foster carers with experience may also receive an additional fee – Acorn has four carer experience levels.

LIMITS – There is clearly a limit to the total number of children or young people you can foster at any one time. You can simultaneously foster a maximum of up to three from three different sets of parents of origin; if you foster a sibling group the maximum can be greater than three. Each child or young person will need their own bedroom; exceptions to this are babies, young children, and siblings.

NOTES – Fees and allowances paid via Independent Fostering Agencies vary from agency to agency. Carers in London may receive an additional allowance. If you wish to become a foster carer and qualify, you will need training.

Income – Foster Carer Allowances Plus Fees

Select the number of children simultaneously fostered full time in each category, and select your experience level:

  • Babies aged 0 to 4 years

  • Children aged 5 to 10 years

  • Children aged 11 to 15 years

  • Teenagers aged 16 plus


  • Foster Carer Income (Allowances and Fees):

Taxation – Foster Carer Tax Exemption Scheme

Select the number of children simultaneously fostered full time for the full tax year for each category:

This is your yearly fostering income tax-exempt threshold.

When Gross Foster Carer Receipts (Income) for a given financial year are below the threshold there will be no tax to pay on any of that income.

The threshold for the tax year will depend on the number of children in care, their ages and length of care.

Partial years would be calculated pro-rata.

If gross receipts are greater than the threshold you may be able to effect further tax relief, but you should seek the help of an Accountant.

We cannot and do not accept any liability for any inaccuracies or omissions in these calculations.

The contents of this web page and the results produced are guidance, therefore please call Acorn Fostering Services for a personalised discussion, telephone number 0845-3312363.

For taxation information see the website of HMRC, call them and/or an Accountant.

For welfare benefits advice talk to your local benefits office.

Also see fostering on DirectGov and categories of foster care.

How to Foster Children with Acorn

Apply Online to be an Acorn Foster Carer