When many people think about the possibilities of fostering a child, one of the first aspects of the fostering experience that you might consider is how expensive it is to foster a child or a young person. However, the expense of fostering a child should never put you off the process, and here is everything that you need to know about the cost of fostering a child.
How much does an extra child cost?
Raising a child is expensive and the cost of this rises every year, with most couples finding that the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is over £151,000. Even though you will not usually raise a foster child from birth until 18, they can still make a significant mark on your bank account. Fostering a child itself will not cost you any money, though.
A foster child is an extra member of your family and this means that, naturally, all of your expenses will increase, from food bills and heating to costs for days outs, clothes, and trips. This might mean that you believe that you are unable to afford a foster child as you might think that you do not have a large enough income to support another child.
What allowance can you receive?
However, you should know that when you foster a child, you get paid for doing so, and fostering a child is seen as a form of self-employment. When you go through most fostering agencies, they will discuss with you the fostering allowances that you will receive from them, which might depend on your skills and experience, your location, the age of the child or young person and any specific needs that the child might have. For instance, if you decide to foster through thefca.co.uk, they will give you an allowance that can cover school meals, holidays, and even birthday celebrations, all while offering discounts to many high street chains.
Can you get tax relief for fostering?
As well as getting an allowance from the fostering agency in question, you will also get tax allowances. Care relief means that you will be able to receive £10,000 before you have to pay tax and you will get this relief for every week that you foster the child. This is because you will effectively be registering as self-employed and will have to file tax returns every year as a foster carer who receives an allowance. You may also be able to claim more benefits for fostering a child.
So, while fostering a child can be expensive, the costs are off-set by the amount that you will receive through your fostering allowance and your tax relief. This means that you will be able to enjoy fostering life without once having to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. This will enable you to give your child the best life possible while also supporting the rest of your family and yourself, without ever going short.