I really hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, and hope I can explain myself properly.
I'd love to foster, and have looked on the council and private agency websites but they're all quite vague. I haven't contacted anyone as I keep coming back to the same question in my head.
I currently work full time and have a DS in childcare costing £150 per week. If I were to foster, I would obviously take DS out of childcare thus saving money, but would the 'payments' be enough to make it worthwhile?
I hope this doesn't come across as me doing it for the money, more the other way round; the financial setback would be the reason for me not doing it, IYSWIM?
My question (eventually!) is how much do you realistically get paid for fostering?
Depends how much you earn. I get £130 a week for foster dd plus £600 a month for me to look after her - it is absolutely not worth it financially for me as I used to earn much more than that a week and I live in the south east. She actually 'costs' about £180 a week because there are some things she needs that are particular to her. The cost to my career has been massive too. And the goalposts have changed too over the years - she's getting close to adulthood and I am still needed to be here after school meaning I have to do very restricted hours.
It might be worth it for you if you are a low earner, live somewhere cheap and need to provide childcare.
Word of warning - even when the websites aren't "vague" they certainly aren't realistic! I get about £200 per week, which is £114 for the child (might be slightly more or less dependant on age of child) and £86 "reward" (ie wage). A far cry from the £400 my LA advertises!
I also get income support though which makes it just about liveable on!
I get £130 expenses and £25 payment for under 5s. £4 a day for dealing with screaming, preemie, drug withdrawing babies. My last one cost several hundred pounds extra in heating bills alone. It's a lot more for teenagers but that can be very costly too. Agencies pay better but you can wait months for a placement. However, being at home means life can be cheaper and we get along. We do rely on my husbands wage to pay the mortgage though. I used to be an academic, and I would never be able to get back to that career, and I also have no pension, so bear things like that in mind.