Foster carer payments and support

Payments and allowances

We offer generous and competitive foster care payments when looking after a child. Payments to foster carers are made on weekly basis.

Our fostering payments have 2 parts:

  • maintenance payment – to cover the cost of caring for a child or young person
  • reward payment – for the foster carer, as a fee paid for their work

Our maintenance payment rates are the same as those for London, and higher than those for the South East or the rest of England – as listed at GOV.UK: help with the cost of fostering.

As a foster carer looking after a child, you will also:

  • get a separate payment to buy birthday presents
  • get one further payment to buy 'festival' presents for celebrations such as Christmas or Eid
  • be entitled to take a paid break of up to 4 weeks, separate from the holiday you'd be expected to take each year as a foster care family
  • be exempt from paying council tax if you live in Thurrock – this is an exclusive benefit for foster carers who foster with Thurrock Council

Weekly payment amounts will depend on the child's age and the type of foster care you provide. We pay a higher amount if a child has complex or high needs. Read about different types of foster care.

The amounts below apply from 1 April 2024.

Care Skills

Care Skills is our standard rate of payment for foster care.

Child's age, in years Total weekly payment Total annual equivalent
0 to 4 £395 £20,596.43
5 to 10 £417 £21,743.57
11 to 15 £448 £23,360.00
16 or over £489 £25,497.86

As a Care Skills foster carer, your reward payment is £200 each week – that's £10,428.57 for you personally if you foster for a full year.

Care Skills+

Care Skills+ is our rate for looking after a child or young person with more complex needs.

Child's age, in years Total weekly payment Total annual equivalent
0 to 4 £445 £23,203.57
5 to 10 £467 £24,350.71
11 to 15 £498 £25,967.14
16 or over £539 £28,105.00

As a Care Skills+ foster carer, your reward payment is £250 each week – that's £13,035.71 for you personally if you foster for a full year.

High Need Rate

High Need Rate is paid in exceptional circumstances to carers who look after a child and young person with the highest needs.

Child's age, in years Total weekly payment Total annual equivalent
0 to 4 £545 £28,417.86
5 to 10 £567 £29,565.00
11 to 15 £598 £31,181.43
16 or over £639 £33,319.29

As a High Need Rate foster carer, your reward payment is £300 each week – that's £15,642.86 for you personally if you foster for a full year.

Parent and child

For parent and child fostering placements, the total amount paid is £790 each week. This includes:

  • £195 each week as an allowance for the child
  • £195 each week as an allowance towards the cost of the parent staying in the home
  • £250 each week as the carers fee the child
  • £150 each week as the carers fee for work with the parent

More information

You can get information on foster carers' tax, benefits and pensions at GOV.UK: foster carers and The Fostering Network.

You can use the form below to let us know if you're interested in fostering.

Fostering team

: 0800 652 1256 (freephone)

: fostering.adoption@thurrock.gov.uk

If you're interested in fostering with Thurrock Council, please send us your contact details via the Foster East website.

Foster East: Foster with Thurrock Council