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Pay and allowances

We know that money isn’t the main motivating factor for most people thinking about fostering. However, we also recognise that income is often an important consideration – after all, you need to know you can maintain financial stability to support the children in your care and the rest of your family.

To recognise the skills and experience of our dedicated network of Foster Carers, West Sussex County Council offers a competitive financial package, including a £750 welcome bonus for recruited carers joining our fostering family.


Did you know Foster Carers are considered self-employed?

Foster carers are considered self-employed and are subject to special tax rules. This means they can be exempt from paying tax on all or most of their fostering income, depending on certain factors. More information about tax rules for Foster Carers can be found by visiting or The Fostering Network’s website.

What pay can Foster Carers receive?

Use our Payment Calculator

There are two elements of payment that a Foster Carer receives for each child in their care


All-inclusive allowance

This is to cover the day-to-day costs of caring for a child, including their food, clothes and pocket money, as well as contributing towards household costs like gas, electric and water bills.

This allowance varies according to the age of the child (or children) you are looking after. As you would with your own household budget, you will be expected to manage your fostering allowance to cover the costs involved with supporting a child.

Skills fee

All Foster Carers are paid a weekly fee to reflect the type of fostering they do and the skills and experience they bring to role. This fee recognises the commitment that Foster Carers make to caring for children in West Sussex.

The skills fee increases with your level of training and experience – with new carers beginning at the foundation level and experienced carers, who have completed additional training, moving to the core skills level.

As well as an allowance and skills fee, Foster Carers also receive payments to cover related mileage and to help them mark key events for the children they’re looking after including Christmas, birthdays and activities during the summer holidays.

All newly approved Foster Carers will also receive a welcome bonus of £750 when they join our fostering family.

The table below details the combined weekly allowance and skills fee approved foundation and core level Foster Carers (who have completed all neccessary training) will receive for each child in their care, depending on their age. This is for mainstream foster care, some of our other fostering roles have different rates of pay which are detailed further down the page.

These rates take into account our revised payment structure, which are subject to an annual inflationary increase.

  • Age of child
    • 0-4
    • 5-10
    • 11-15
    • 16-17
  • Foundation
    • £330.61
    • £365.19
    • £395.85
    • £447.51
  • Core
    • £465.99
    • £500.57
    • £531.23
    • £582.89

Parent and Child allowance

Parent and Child Foster Carers receive a weekly rate of £1,245.19 per arrangement. This enhanced rate reflects the complexity, time, commitment and demands of this type of fostering.

Supported Lodgings allowance

As an approved Supported Lodgings host, you will work in partnership with the County Council’s Children’s Services and will be paid a weekly allowance. Currently, the minimum payment is £289.37 per week.

Professional support and competitive pay

Thinking of becoming a Foster Carer?

Do you want to make a difference to a child in West Sussex? Could you provide a safe, secure and loving environment and help them through a challenging time in their lives? Do you have a spare room? If the answer is yes, we'd love to hear from you.

Could you support a young person aged 16-24 to prepare for adult life?

By teaching life skills and providing emotional support, you could help a young person reach their full potential!