Allowances available to foster carers, training and development available, support from your social worker and support groups.

Allowances available to foster carers

We provide the following weekly payments based on the child’s age. This allowance goes towards covering the cost associated with looking after a child or young person, such as household bills, food, clothes, travel, school dinners and pocket money.

The rate you will be paid per week in relation to the age of the child
Age range Rate
0 - 4 £142.86
5 - 10 £162.73
11 - 15 £202.58
16+ £246.44

In recognition of the level of your fostering skills, you would receive an additional weekly payment, set out below. This is based both on your level of experience and what, if any, special needs the child(ren) you look after might have.

The rate you will be paid per week based on level of experience
Skill level Rate
1 £100
2 £125
3 £175
4 £225

You will also receive the following additional payments:

  • two weeks allowance to cover the cost of holidays, plus one extra week to help towards Christmas or other religious holidays
  • a one-off payment for the child or young person's birthday, so that you’d be able to provide them with a gift at no cost to yourself
  • £60 per week for each additional child or young person you foster
  • a continuous service payment of £10 per week for every year you've fostered for Kirklees Council, up to a maximum of 15 years - up to an extra £150 per week
  • mileage covering the statutory needs of the child/ren in placement is paid at 45 pence per mile. Recreational mileage is included within the weekly fostering allowance

If you look after a child of school age, you can work and foster. All that we ask is that your working patterns enable you to meet the needs of the child you'd be fostering. Because our young people have often been neglected, they need someone who can be there for them consistently, particularly in the early stages of a new placement. There’s no set rules here, as part of the assessment, we'd talk to you about your job and your support network to see how you might be able to juggle both jobs.

As a foster carer you pay little or no tax on your fostering income because the payments are broken down into two separate weekly amounts.

Training and development

We aim to reduce the number of times children and young people have to move around whilst in our care to prevent further distress to them.

Our foster carers receive regular support and opportunities for training and development, which means they are more likely to have the skills necessary to support children and young people through difficult times. All of our foster carers are expected to attend some training sessions and your supervising social worker will work with you to help you develop your skills, achieve your training objectives and support your development needs.

You may have the opportunity to gain qualifications such as NVQ level 3 for working with children and young people. We pay your travel expenses to attend these training courses, which are tailored to fit in with childcare commitments.

These courses are mandatory:

  • Safe care
  • Health & hygiene
  • First Aid
  • Skills development (developing your role as a foster carer)

Support from your social worker

There is a lot of support available for our foster carers. Each foster carer has a professionally qualified link worker, who will visit you at your home regularly. As your skills as a foster carer develop, these visits will probably take place every four to six weeks.

Your link worker will be on hand to discuss with you the needs of the child or children you are looking after and how to deal with other people involved in the care of the child, such as family members and teachers.

Support groups

There are a number of support groups for our foster carers which provide:

  • An opportunity for you to meet other foster carers
  • Training on specific issues around fostering
  • Updated information on the work of the fostering team and fostering services
  • Practical advice and support

We also offer a 24-hour foster carer support line which is run by, and for the benefit of foster carers in Kirklees, called the Kirklees Fostering Network . The KFN will contact you after you have been approved as a foster carer. They hold regular support groups, organise social and training events and act as an advocate for foster carers, which helps ensure that we are providing you with a high quality service.