More about fostering

Will I receive any financial help?

We pay an allowance to cover the expenses of caring for the child or young person and the time you spend looking after them.

The allowance depends on the kind of fostering you do and the needs of the child or young person you care for. Allowances can be as much as £530.95* per week, per child depending on the age and needs of the child. 

*recommended allowance for children and young people aged 8 – 15 yrs with complex behavioural and emotional needs.

Will I pay tax on my earnings?

As a foster carer, you’ll be classed as self-employed and entitled to tax relief on your income, meaning you’ll pay very little (or no) tax and national insurance. The tax relief you receive depends on your own financial circumstances. Find out more with the HMRC e-learning guide for foster carers.

How long will it take for me to have my first placement?

You can begin taking placements as soon as you’ve been approved by the fostering panel. There’s no set timeframe from approval to first placement – this depends on your flexibility and our careful matching process.

What is Staying Put?

Staying Put is the arrangement whereby care leavers can choose to live with their foster carers beyond the age of 18, and until they are 21 in some cases. A change in the law in 2014 means that Devon County Council has a statutory duty to plan, monitor and support staying put arrangements through the provision of ongoing social work and financial support.

Often a young person and their foster carers will view the arrangement simply as an extension of fostering, albeit the young person is increasingly independent. Discussions about staying put should start between the young person and foster carer as early as possible, ideally before they reach the age of 16.

The significant difference is that in law staying put arrangements are not foster placements, because the young person is no longer a looked after child but an adult, and the fostering regulations, statutory guidance and national minimum standards no longer apply.

There is nothing new about foster carers continuing to provide a home to young people whom they have fostered; however the change in law moves this from an ad hoc arrangement to one which is legislated for until the age of 21.

To read a copy of Devon’s staying put policy click here.

Do I need a computer at home?

Yes, you will need to provide children and young people with access to a computer for them to complete their homework.

Are set up costs refundable?

We are unable to refund any expenses incurred in setting up the home for fostering.