Simply Fostering

Foster Carers Expenses

Foster Carers Expenses

Foster carers can claim expenses from their Agency or the Local Authority who placed the child, in addition to the standard, weekly Fostering Allowance.

Expenses related to foster children that are outside of the Allowance are usually decided at the Initial Placement Meeting.

Extra Grants + Allowances 2023

Most Agencies pay additional mileage costs outside of the fostering allowance, Agencies expect their foster carers to pay for:

  • Appointments with the child’s GP;
  • School transport within three miles of the foster home;
  • All social, domestic, and leisure trips.

Mileage can usually be claimed for:

  • Formal contact;
  • Reviews, case conferences, and other legal meetings;
  • Attending carer training;
  • Hospital consultant or specialist appointments;
  • School travel beyond a six-mile return trip
    Special activities.

Out of agency agreement funding for required/special activities for a child is available through the local authority and is arranged by the child’s social worker.

A typical mileage rate is 42p per mile. Foster carers who use public transport can claim the fares back.

Agency Criteria 

Vehicle Grants can be provided if all fostered children cannot be transported together in a carers vehicle.

A Grant can also be provided by the Local Authority who places a child requiring a specialised vehicle. 

Vehicle Grants usually make up the difference when a foster carer trades in their car for a more suitable, larger vehicle. 

Agencies can provide an emergency clothing grant to the carer for children who arrive without enough or appropriate clothing. The agency usually requests repayment from the child’s social worker. Local authorities pay for any school uniform costs.

Agencies provide extra funds, paid to the foster carer, for children’s birthdays, holidays, national holidays and religious festivals

Out of allowance payments are available to carers for exceptional school holidays and the cost of school trips.

The allowance is out of the fostering allowance and foster carers are usually required to keep a separate account of how the DVLA is used.

Some agencies pay their foster carers a retainer which is a weekly allowance before a planned placement is made. The retainer is made to secure the fostering placement and to fund any placement meetings.

Children in foster care who are aged 3 or 4 years old will be able to receive 30 hours free childcare, if the following criteria are met:

  • Accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan;
  • Where there is a single foster parent family, the foster parent is engaging in paid work outside their role as a foster parent;
  • Where there are two foster parents in the same fostering household, both are engaging in paid work outside their role as a foster parent.

Government Information Leaflet

Fostering children is a 24 hour job that is demanding at times and, like in any family, it’s sometimes better if everyone has a break.

The national agencies have different policies about how they support their carers with holidays or respite. Some pay carers an extra two weeks allowance a year without strings, others make payments that are aligned with the number of weeks carers have had placements in their home.

UK Wide Fostering Network

Try these: South WestDevonExeter

If you live in the UK… We’ve got you covered.
We cover the length and breadth of the UK with our unique Agency Network. Finding an Agency near you and supporting your move into foster caring.


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