Fostering Allowances

For Children and Young Persons

(upto and including aged 17)

Financial Year 2009/10

(1st April 2009 – 31 March 2010)





Section 1 Fostering Allowance Rates for Carers:Page 3

Guide to what is covered by maintenance allowance

Section 2Allowances for carers of young people aged 16/17Page 4

Calculations for YPs in further Education/Working/Training “

Tax Relief for Carers – useful website address. “

Section 3Short Term Break Scheme for Children with DisabilitiesPage 5

Section 4General information and contact numbersPage 6

Section 5Pocket Money and Personal Allowances Page 7

for Children and Young People

Section 6Payment of additional Expenses incurred by CarersPage 8

In caring for a Child:

Initial Foster Allowance “

Birthday and Christmas Allowances etc “

Holiday Allowances “

Cost of Holidays and Outings by schools “

Day Care for Children Excluded from SchoolPage 9

Payment for other child related Day Care “

Special Aptitudes and Interests “

Exceptional Travel and Fares “

ExceptionalSchool transport costsPage 10

Children Temporarily Away from Foster Home “

Relief Care “

Hospitality AllowancesPage 11

Spectacles “

Allowances for Special Purposes “

Section 7Payment of Other Expenses incurred by Carers:Page 12

Equipment “

Attendance at Foster Carer Training Courses “

Sessional Payments “

Payments for Other Non Child related Daycare “

Section 8Carers for Young Adults over 18 yearsPage 13/14

Including financial arrangements

Section 9Exceptional Payments:Page 15

Double Payments “

Retainer Payments “

Guidance Notes for Office Staff only Pages 16, 17 and 18

1. Foster Allowance Rates for Carers

Amounts payable per WEEK from 01.04.09 shown by age and accreditation.

Payments will continue to be made fortnightly.

Accreditation Level / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
First Child / Subsequent Child
Accreditation fee added to basic maintenance allowance. / Basic maintenance
Allowance / £33 / £60 / £104 / £329 / £219
Total amount payable per week
Age of Child / £ / £ / £ / £ / £ / £
0 – 4 / 107 / 140 / 167 / 211 / 436 / 326
5 – 10 / 119 / 152 / 179 / 223 / 448 / 338
11 – 15 / 137 / 170 / 197 / 241 / 466 / 356
16 (in school) / 159 / 192 / 219 / 263 / 488 / 378
16** (employment or further education) / 161 / 194 / 221 / 265 / 490 / 380
17** (employment or further education) / 162 / 195 / 222 / 266 / 491 / 381

** Payments adjusted to give young person responsibility for own personal costs etc. – see following page

Children with disabilities may be eligible for Incapacity for Youth or Disability Living Allowance. Foster carers should check with the child’s social worker that an application has been made.

The Basic Maintenance Allowance is designed to cover the costs incurred in caring for a child. The table below gives the proportion of the allowance likely to be needed for the 'average' child for clothing etc. Note this for guidance only andthe proportion will vary according to the child's needs

Age of child / 0-4 / 5-10 / 11-15 / 16 in Year 11 / 16 +
Clothing * / 22% (£23.54) / 26% (£30.94) / 26% (£35.62) / 26% (£41.34) / See pg 4
Personal / 6% (£6.42) / 8% (£9.52) / 10% (£13.70) / 17% (£27.03) / See pg 4
Transport ** / 8% (£8.56) / 7% (£8.33) / 11% (£15.07) / 9% (£14.31) / See pg 4

* includes pocket money. See rates on page 7

** 'Normal' transport only. Not including exceptional transport costs - see page 9

2. Allowances for Carers for young people aged 16 and 17 who have completed Year 11.

To ensure appropriate preparation for a young person's transition from care to independent living, young people who have completed year 11 will move towards greater financial independence as set out in the formulae below:
This means money previously paid to carers for pocket money, clothing money, toiletries, and bus fares etc. will be diverted direct to the young person. Full details of the arrangement must be set out in the young person's Pathway Plan.
Young Persons in Further Education– Standard
Young person receives an allowance of £50.95 per week

Young person contributes to carer for keep £10 per week

Young person retains £40.95 per week

Carer no longer provides clothing money, pocket money, toiletries, bus fares.

Payments to carers reduced by £50.95 per week (in lieu of allowance) plus further £10 which client provides direct, (totalling £60.95).

  • Any money the young person earns through part-time/week-end work is disregarded (including summer work between academic years). Young people should be encouraged to learn the work ethic and to save.

* Education Maintenance Allowance’s are exempt from these calculations as they are a direct payment to young people.

Young person in full time employment– Example showing maximum figure:

Young person's nett earnings (maximum figure CS will use) £102 per week

Minimum protected allowance £50.95 per week

Young person contributes 50% of remainder to carer for keep £25.53 per week

Young person retains £76.47 per week

Carer no longer provides clothing money, pocket money, toiletries, bus fares.

Payments to carers reduced by £50.95 per week (in lieu of allowance) plus further £25.53 which client provides direct (totalling £76.47).

  • YP to keep first wage packet before contributions start.

Young person on Training scheme

Financial arrangements for Training schemes now come under the umbrella of EMA – contact your local Leaving Care Team if you need further information and advice on the scheme.

Foster Carers’ Tax Relief

For information on tax relief for Carers, visit the website below:

3. Short Term Break scheme for Children with Disabilities

Currently the hourly rate is £5.05 per hour.

The time period used to determine the daily rate is 8 hours. A day is defined literally as a calendar day i.e. from 00:00 to 23:59. Thus:

Per hour£5.05

Per day£40.40

Per week£282.80

Calculation of STB payments

Day care:For a period of less than 24 hours, not including an overnight stay, the actual number of hours up to a maximum of 8 is paid.

Overnight (under 24 hours): For a period of less than 24 hours, which includes an overnight stay, the actual number of hours up to a maximum of 8 up to midnight, plus the actual number of hours up to a maximum of 8 from midnight.

24 hours plus:For a period of more than 24 hours, the actual number of hours up to a maximum of 8 on the first day, then the daily rate for every subsequent day, including the last day. (There will be few occasions when a child would leave their carers before 8:00 a.m.)

4. General Information and Contact Numbers

Because payments are sent during the course of a fortnightly pay period and children may leave foster carers before the date to which the payment has been calculated, an overpayment of allowances may occur. Overpayment can also occur when documents notifying movements of children are lost or delayed.

In these circumstances recovery is affected by deduction from the next payment if possible, but otherwise repayment is required.

If foster carers receive allowances to which they are not entitled, they should notify the Children’s Services Payments Section at County Hall as soon as possible.

When a young person remains in placement over the age of 18 their carers are no longer acting as foster carers. The financial arrangements for carers in these circumstances are set out in Section 9 at the end of this paper.

If foster carers wish, for any reason, to contact the Children’s Services Finance Section by telephone, the numbers are:

Carer SurnameContact Number

A - J(01603) 222176

K – Z(01603) 222156

Leaving Care (01603) 222120

FAX No (01603) 222505

5. Pocket Money/ Personal Allowancesfor Children and Young People

Pocket money for the child is included in the basic allowances. The amounts payable are:

Age of Child / Amount per Week (£)
Under 5 years / Amount at foster carer’s discretion
5 – 7 / 2.00
8 – 10 / 3.00
11 - 12 / 3.50
13 / 4.50
14 / 6.00
15 / 7.00
16* until client completes year 11 / 8.00

Personal allowances for over 16's :

  • Young Person in Employment

Young people in employment will be expected to contribute towards their keep. Contributions are ‘capped’ at first £102 of client’s net income. See example on page 3

  • Young Person seeking employment or suffering ill health (signed off by G.P.)

When a young person is unemployed, or is unable to follow normal employment through sickness or for some other reason, the £50.95 allowance will be paid. Any benefits, which the young person is entitled to claim, will be taken into account to determine the amount of the basic allowance payable. Clients will be expected to make a £10 per week contribution toward their keep, paid direct to carer.

6. Payments for Additional Expenses incurred by Carers in Caring for a Child

Carers are advised to obtain agreement for additional expenses in advance of expenditure. Wherever possible funding should be discussed at the Placement Agreement meeting and reviewed as part of the Statutory Review process for the child. Receipts should be provided where appropriate.

Initial Fostering Allowance {code 53700 - via EPF}

Initial expenditure at first placement, based on the individual child’s needs in order to bring their clothing and personal possessions up to a reasonable level. This can include school uniform and, in the case of babies, an initial supply of nappies. This allowance is available via the child's worker for expenditure incurred within the first month of placement to allow for an accurate assessment of needs.

It is expected that once a child has been initially equipped with clothing, school uniform, nappies etc, that these will be maintained at a reasonable level from the normal fortnightly allowances and that extra payments will only be made in exceptional circumstances.


Birthday Allowance {code 53900}

An amount equivalent to one week’s basic allowance appropriate to the child’s age will be paid in addition to the normal fortnightly assessed payments. This allowance is paid automatically to Foster Carers by County Hall to cover presents and related costs.

Christmas / Religious Festival Allowance (code 53890)

An amount equivalent to one week’s basic allowance appropriate to the child’s age (up to maximum of 16yrs ‘in school’ rate for YPs aged 16+), will be paid in addition to the normal fortnightly assessed payments. This allowance is paid automatically to Foster Carers by County Hall to cover presents and related costs.

Holiday Allowance (code 53870 via EPF)

An amount equivalent to two week’s basic allowance appropriate to the child’s age (up to maximum of 16yrs ‘in school’ rate for YPs aged 16+) can be claimed annually, in addition to the normal fortnightly assessed payments. This allowance may be claimed whether carers go away for their holiday or stay at home and just take the child on outings etc. Carers should notify the child's worker when they wish to claim this allowance. Please note that, as the allowance can only be claimed once per year for each child, when a child transfers placements the new carers may find that the allowance has been claimed by the previous foster carers.

Cost of Holidays and Outings by Schools, Youth Groups, Scouts etc.(code 53870 via EPF)

The cost of outings or holidays with school, youth groups etc may be claimed in addition to the normal fortnightly assessed payments and holiday payments.

NBOnly one Children’s Services educational organised holiday abroad will be paid for in any three-year period, unless there are special circumstances approved by the Director of Children's Services.

Day Care for children excluded from school (code 53600 via EPF)

Day Care payments can be made to most* carers for children temporarily excluded from school for whom carers provide additional supervision and a structured programme of activities. This payment may be made to the carers with whom the child is placed or to other carers. As such payments are expenses rather than a sessional payment for work undertaken (see below) they are exempt from tax.

The rate is £5.70 per hour per child for a maximum of 6 hours a day, and should be claimed via the child's worker. Associated receipts should be attached.

*NB This payment is not available to Level 5carers for children placed with them, as such carers are expected to be available where necessary during school hours. However where extra expenditure is incurred above the normal allowances, this can be claimed back by providing receipts to their FPSW.

Payments for other child related daycare (code 53600)

Where day care is needed to enable a carer to have a break from a demanding placement or to attend a meeting related to the child another carer may be found to provide day care. The carer offering day care will receive expenses at £6 per hour for the 1st child, £9 for 2 children, and £10.50 for 3. This should be claimed via the child's worker using SS/F/EXP1 Expenditure Proposal Form (EPF).

Special Aptitudes/Interests (code 53750 via EPF)

The following may be claimed in addition to the normal fortnightly allowances at the discretion of the Team Manager responsible for the child:

  • The cost of lessons in music, dancing or other aptitudes.
  • The cost of fees, books and travelling expenses for attending training courses in connection with employment.
  • Up to £60 in any one year for each child belonging to a recognised group for the purchase of uniform or equipment. This allowance also to be available for the purchase of equipment required for educational, physical training or sporting purposes.

Exceptional Travel/Fares

(for payments to carers, code to SA9991-5 depending on the Area, 35700, plus team further analysis code)

The basic fortnightly allowance incorporates an element for travelling expenses (see table on page 1) and it is anticipated that this should be sufficient to cover the normal travelling expenses incurred in looking after a child. However, where exceptional travelling expenses are incurred, they may be claimed as an additional allowance. This is paid at the Volunteer Mileage Rate of 36.5p per mile.

NB. The proportion of the 'basic' allowance that covers 'routine' transport costs should not be deducted before making a payment for exceptional transport costs.

Whether a journey is considered exceptional will depend on the reason for the journey, rather than its cost. For example, taking a child to the local doctor for a ‘routine’ illness would be seen as normal travel and not claimable. On the other hand, taking a child to a series of appointments with a Clinical Psychologist would be seen as exceptional and, therefore, claimable.

Exceptional school transport costs

(Code to SA9991-5 depending on the Area, subcode dependent on type of transport used (PTU will add), plus team further analysis code)

Travel/fares to school would normally be covered by the basic fortnightly allowances. However, in exceptional cases this may be claimed. As a rough guide, the national statutory regulations concerning children travelling to their school stipulate what is normal and abnormal or subject to special support, i.e.

  • If the child is under 8, Norfolk’s rule is that a parent should be expected to get their child to school at their expense up to one and a half miles, a total of 30 miles per week.
  • If the child is over 8 and under 12, they are expected to get their child to school up to two miles distance, a total of 40 miles per week.
  • If the child is over 12, the distance goes up to three miles, a total of 60 miles per week.

Exceptional school transport costs will normally be funded for one term only unless the child is in their GCSE year.

Children Temporarily Away From the Foster Home

(Code 53600 Service Agreement in Carefirst)

  1. When, as part of a planned introductions (either home or to another carer), a child is temporarily not in placement full time, the carer will continue to receive the full entitlement. In these circumstances the payments section needs to be informed by the authorising Team Manager.
  1. When a child is admitted to hospital the full maintenance allowance can be paid for the first four weeks and thereafter at the discretion of the Director of Children's Services.

Relief Care (code 53600 via Service Agreement in Carefirst)

When a child is placed for 'relief care' in order to give the main carer a break:

  • The 'main' carer will receive a retainer equivalent to the relevant accreditation payment plus 25% of the basic allowances for up to two weeks within that period.

Two Households

  • The relief carer will be paid the age related basic allowance plus an accreditation payment in line with the relief carers' assessed level.

Same Household

  • The relief carer will be only paid the level accreditation payment in line with the relief carers' assessed level.

Hospitality Allowances (code 53600 via Service Agreement in Carefirst)

Where carers are required by the Department to offer hospitality to parents, adoptive parents or siblings of any child placed with them, they can reclaim any expenditure incurred in respect of meals, refreshments etc up to the following rates:

NB These rates are per person:

  • Breakfast£5.69
  • Lunch£7.82
  • Tea£3.08
  • Evening meal£9.70

Spectacles (code 53600 via Service Agreement in Carefirst)

The necessary cost of providing spectacles for the child will be met in full. It will be assumed, however, that full advantage is taken of the vouchers available under the National Health Service schemes.

Allowances for Special Purposes (code 53910 via Service Agreement In CareFirst)

Expenditure on any child of a sum not exceeding £200 per annum, over and above the normal cost of maintaining the child, on items which are considered necessary and for which there is no alternative provision.

7. Payments for Other Expenses incurred by Carers

Equipment (code 41480via Service Agreement Carefirst)

The costs of providing essential equipment, to enable the foster carer to safely care for children, will be met by the Family Placement Service. Equipment will normally be purchased direct by the Family Placement Team and loaned to the carer household. However with the prior agreement of the Family Placement Team Manager, carers may be asked to purchase some necessary items themselves. Receipts should be submitted to the carer's supervisor who will arrange for reimbursement of agreed expenditure.

Attendance at Foster Carer Training courses (coded by Training Team )

Childminding and travelling expenses incurred by carers in attending foster carer training courses will be reimbursed. Rates are:

Childminding: £2.85 per hour

Mileage rate: 36.5p per mile

To claim carers are asked to complete a form available on the day of the course or from the Fostering Training and Development Team. It is not possible to offer compensation for loss of earnings.

Sessional Payments (code 44560)

Can be paid to carers undertaking a variety of work including: