Employment and Income of Fostering Applicants

Fostering families cannot be dependent on the fostering income because there may be a delay of several months after approval before a child joins the home and even after that, there may be gaps when there are no children in the home. Foster carers only get an allowance when there are children being looked after in the home.

The fostering income allows the family to cover the costs of caring for children looked after and there is an additional amount which helps to ensure that the family isn’t under significant financial pressure when they look after children.

A financial assessment is carried out as part of the fostering assessment, to ensure that the fostering family wouldn’t be reliant on the fostering income. The financial assessment determines if the family’s income covers all of their expenses. This could mean that a family who is in receipt of income support spends very carefully and so they are able to save a little every month (or at least they make sure they cover their costs and don’t have significant debts). It is not uncommon for relatively high earning applicants to be turned down from fostering if they have significant debts and their income doesn’t cover their expenses. Fostering applicants should also be mindful that their income has to be declared for tax purposes for Sparks Fostering to consider it to be legitimate income.

In summary, in order to pass the financial assessment of the fostering assessment, applicants do not need to be in employment; however, their income has to cover their expenses.