Financial Support Available to Foster Parents – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

Financial Support Available to Foster Parents

To become a successful foster parent, you need to have the finances to support any placements you welcome through your door, no matter what their needs. However, you should keep in mind that you will be offered a basic allowance to cover food and clothing costs. Further, depending on the agency you’re registered under, you can receive financial aid for a range of other needs including travel and childcare. Whether you’re new to fostering or you’re a veteran looking for financial support, you’ve come to the right place.

Retainer Allowance

A retainer allowance is granted before a placement arrives, and its purpose is to secure your home and provide funding for any meetings that you need to attend. You will receive this on a weekly basis to make sure you have everything you need to welcome a new foster child. However, you will need to talk to your agency because not everywhere grants it.

Initial Clothing Allowance

You will generally receive a foster allowance to pay for clothes and other basic needs - you can find out more by heading to However, some children arrive with no clothes, which can be an expensive need to fill at the last minute's notice. Therefore, you should enquire about an initial clothing allowance, which will support you during these situations.

Carer Respite

There’s no going home after work when you’re a foster parent, which can make the job extremely stressful. Therefore, it’s important to treat yourself to some much-needed time to help breathe fresh air into your household. Some agencies in the UK will cater for carer holidays and respite. For example, you may receive an additional week's allowance in relation to the number of placements you’ve taken in, and you can use this money for whatever you like.

Free 30 Hours Childcare

If you’re caring for children between 3-4 years old, you may be eligible to receive 30 hours of free child care, which can work wonders for your mental health. Here are the criteria you need to meet:

  • Additional hours coincide with a child’s care plan.
  • Single foster parents are engaged in external work.
  • Partnered foster parents are both engaged in external paid work.

This entitlement was extended to foster parents back in 2018 and came as a much-needed government benefit - you might as well make the most of it.

Educational Trip Allowance

Education is essential to all children, but the cost of enrichment activities including school trips can be extremely expensive. Therefore, as an additional allowance, you may be entitled to funding for school trips. If you can get your hands on this benefit, you’ll be offering your foster child a unique experience and have a minute to yourself at the same time - a win-win by anyone’s standards.

You will have countless financial obligations as a foster parent, so it pays to know where you can receive funding from. If you need additional support, the best place to start is by speaking to your local authority and foster agency.