Payments

Mainstream fostering payments

We pay our carers weekly while they are caring for a foster child. The payment is made up of two elements

  1. a maintenance element for living costs
  2. a reward element for the work undertaken

Our carers are also entitled to 2 weeks' paid holiday a year.

Age group Reward element Maintenance element Total weekly amount
Under 2 years £110.29 £148.62 £258.91
2 - 4 years £110.29 £152.92 £263.21
5 - 8 years £110.29 £170.15 £280.44
9 - 10 years £209.49 £170.15 £379.64
11 - 15 years £209.49 £192.77 £402.26
16 - 18 years £209.49 £227.23 £436.72

Note:
Related placements receive only maintenance element unless the required training is undertaken.
Non-related placements are required to undertake the training and therefore receive both reward and maintenance elements.

Children with disabilities

  • full time placements from £321.76 to £520.52 per week plus Disability Living Allowance
  • short break placements from £60.14 to £74.36 per night.

Disability enhancement

The below figures are based on assessed level of child’s needs & agreed at funding panel and are reviewed yearly.

Totals are calculated by combining the reward element and maintenance element as shown in figures above, plus either the standard rate of £62.85 or enhanced rate of £83.80.

  • Reward element - paid at higher rate for all short break/respite carers, non-dependent on age. The reward element is a fee for the work undertaken with each child. Carers work on a self-employed basis and declare the reward element fee for tax purposes.
  • Maintenance element - Kent County Council pays a maintenance element for each child placed with a foster carer. This fee covers all the costs related to the child / young person and their care.
  • Disability enhancement - based on assessed level of the child’s needs and agreed at funding panel, to be reviewed yearly.
Standard rateEnhanced rate
Under 2 years£321.76£342.71
2 - 4 years£326.06£347.01
5 - 8 years£343.29£364.24
9 - 10 years£442.49£463.44
11- 15 years£465.11£486.06
16+ years£499.57£520.52

Short break carers (nightly rates)

The below figures are based on assessed level of child’s needs & agreed at funding panel and are reviewed yearly.

Totals are calculated by combining the reward element and maintenance elemente, plus either the standard rate of £8.98 or enhanced rate of £11.97.

  • Reward element - paid at higher rate for all short break/respite carers, non-dependent on age. The reward element is a fee for the work undertaken with each child. Carers work on a self-employed basis and declare the reward element fee for tax purposes.
  • Maintenance element - Kent County Council pays a maintenance element for each child placed with a foster carer. This fee covers all the costs related to the child / young person and their care.
  • Disability enhancement - based on assessed level of the child’s needs and agreed at funding panel, to be reviewed yearly.
Reward elementMaintenance elementDisability enhancement total
Standard rate
Disability enhancement total
Enhanced rate
Under 2£29.93£21.23£60.14£63.13
2 - 4 years£29.93£21.85£60.76£63.75
5 - 8 years£29.93£24.31£63.22£66.21
9 - 10 years£29.93£24.31£63.22£66.21
11 - 15 years£29.93£27.54£66.45£69.44
16+ years£29.93£32.46£71.37£74.36

Note: All Short Break carers will receive one consolidated weekly payment which will incorporate all the fixed allowances, including maintenance/personal allowance, disability enhancement etc. for the child. We promote the professionalism of the Fostering Service by the Payment for Skills which concentrates on carers’ skill levels and if agreed, the rates are an additional £2.92 per night for Level 2 and £7.29 per night for Level 3.

Note: Respite carers are paid on a pro rata basis. Related placements receive only maintenance element unless the required training is undertaken.

All foster carers will receive one consolidated weekly payment which will incorporate all the fixed allowances, including maintenance/personal allowance, etc. for the child. In addition, carers of children who are open to the Disability Service receive either a standard or enhanced payment dependent on the assessed needs of the child.

We promote the professionalism of the fostering service by the Payment for Skills which concentrates on carers’ skill levels and if agreed, the rates are an additional £20.43 per week for Level 2 and £51.05 per week for Level 3.

Payment for skills

Payment for Skills is our initiative to recognise the skills that our carers have.

You will be assessed and paid an enhanced fee dependent on your assessed skill level. There are 2 levels for additional payment, £20.23 for level 2 and £50.54 for level 3. The assessment is based on your abilities and not on the needs of the particular child placed with you.

Read more about our standards.

Additional payments

Additional payments are available for different types of foster care. You can contact us for more information.

Tax and benefits

Read our guide to tax and benefits for foster carers (PDF, 74.2 KB).

As a KCC foster carer, children in your care are eligible for a Young Person's Travel Pass, which means they benefit from free bus travel throughout Kent.

Self employment

As a foster carer, HMRC will treat you as being self-employed and a self-assessment form will need to be completed at the end of each financial year.

The foster carers and HMRC webinar explains what self-employment means to you, how to use qualifying care relief, keep records and what to put on your tax return. It is suitable for prospective foster carers or those already approved as foster carers.

More information can be found on the HMRC self employed webinars page.

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