foster payment

(37 Posts)
holiday88 Mon 06-May-13 20:25:36

just wondered what other people did for money when they are waiting for a new placement

lovesmileandlaugh Mon 06-May-13 21:10:02

We've just been talking about this. We are about to go to panel with our LA, but other foster carers are telling us that they are recruiting too many foster carers and that they are spending long periods of time without a placement.
I've been trying to think of ways I can earn money, but also drop it, if we get a placement. I'd be interested to knows what everyone else does?

PearlyWhites Wed 15-May-13 18:53:14

What do you mean do for money? I didn't think fostering was meant to be a job.

Fostering is a very hard job - yes you get paid for when a child is with you. The LA's pay families to foster these days instead of keeping children in 'children's homes' like they used to. The fully staffed childrens homes cost a fortune to run and history has shown us that the children were often badly treated by the staff.

Holiday88 its a good question, we are debating whether to move to a larger house so that we can foster as DP has always wanted to do it. But we would not want to have to be dependent on the money as the 'work' can be unpredictable.

scarlet5tyger Wed 15-May-13 20:43:24

Fostering is very much a job these days, albeit not a very well paid one! You're expected to be professional, complete increasing amounts of paperwork, advocate for the child at the highest level etc. Its not simply about having a child come and stay with you. Edward Timpson himself has said it's one of the most important jobs there is.

Holiday88 and LoveSmileLaugh, I find I have to take additional children in to be able to save enough money to keep me going if I ever have a gap in placements (but to be honest this has rarely happened). I then keep that money in an emergency savings account.

Worryingly though my own LA has just announced they plan to "cut" the number of children being brought into care. Quite how they plan to do this I don't know - presumably by leaving them in dangerous situations they would currently be removed from.

Cloverer Wed 15-May-13 20:46:26

What's fostering if not a job Pearly? A hobby for ladies of independent means?

TheCutOfYourJib Wed 15-May-13 20:59:43

Our la pay you a fee whether you have a placement or not. Presumed most others did aswell.

fasparent Wed 15-May-13 21:09:16

Point too ponder comment from child returned too LA care from private foster care. "I used too come home too a home now I come home"
Money is not everything but a little extra would help, LA conditions are Victorian and out of date with modern society. Did not tell us 38 years ago we were self employed had jobs any way afraid cant do both. Just convenient for them.

TheCutOfYourJib Wed 15-May-13 22:13:23

Sorry fas don't understand your post. Do you mean private foster carers provide a happier home than LA foster carers?
If so that is nonsense.

ZangelbertBingeldac Wed 15-May-13 22:26:25

Bloody hell, pearlywhites, what a breathtakingly ignorant post.

fasparent Thu 16-May-13 14:45:46

Quite the opposite child was happier with LA , Just LA's Carers need too be treated fairer across the board.

PearlyWhites Sat 18-May-13 00:06:09

Zangle did you mean to be so rude? I was fostered as a child and my fps just received an allowance to cover the actual cost of looking after me I wasn't aware things had changed.

PearlyWhites Sat 18-May-13 00:10:50

And Cloverer no not a hobby but thought fp received an allowance to cover the costs of raising a child and if you were already a sahm you could foster without needing an additional payment.

PearlyWhites Sat 18-May-13 00:11:19

As in a wage.

PearlyWhites Sat 18-May-13 00:19:53

In many us states foster parents do not receive any payment other than an allowance to cover the childs cost so it's not that unusual.

lovesmileandlaugh Sat 18-May-13 07:52:19

Not wanting to get into any arguments here!
I will receive an allowance which will contribute to the household and family expenses aside from the FC specific needs.
It is less than the money I am not earning by reducing my hours at work to ensure that either me or DH are at home 24/7.
We can afford to live without it, but the standard of living we have will be less. I'm trying to think of ways that I can raise a bit extra for all my kids (birth and foster) to have the treats I want us all to have!

cazzmags Sat 18-May-13 12:29:54

pearlywhites I'm guessing you are in the USA, maybe their system is different to ours.

As foster carers our LA pay us a basic allowance for the child in our care. Our LO goes without nothing he has lovely clothes, toys, food and goes to lots of after school activities like music club, swimming and beavers all of which come out of the allowance. Some of the allowance is allocated for household expenses and like lovesmileandlaugh we can live without it but why should we?

We undergo long and extensive training unpaid and then we love, care and advocate for children who are often very damaged and traumatised by their life experiences. We are not childminders and I do not mean that in any derogatory sense at all. The work we do is very specialised and requires a lot of sacrifice, commitment and hard work. The paperwork is never ending and don't get me started on the amount of professional meetings that we have to attend again all unpaid. For us and I believe most foster carers what we do is a vocation and we do it for the right reasons so why shouldn't we get some recompense for it? Is anyone suggesting that no care workers should receive financial support for what they do? Why should we be any different because we are foster carers.

There is a huge disparity in this country between foster carers who work with the LA and those who work for IFA's and indeed huge disparity between LA'S. IFA carers are paid a living wage and we aren't, some LA's pay retainers many don't. It seems money is a dirty word in many LA's and until the huge disparity in money between LA and IFA carers is addressed openly and fairly you will continue to see large numbers of LA carers walking away from something they adore doing because they basically can't afford to live without a placement.

Our LA doesn't pay retainers for carers without a placement. We currently have one permanent placement and approval for 2 more. We have the possibility of taking 2 more children in the near future but for me to do this I would have to give up my very secure part time job. That's fine for the 3,6,12 months they may be with us but what then? If at that time there are no placements I would find myself in the position of having to seek employment again 1) for financial reasons and 2) I'd go stir crazy with nothing to do!

plainjayne123 Fri 24-May-13 20:18:54

Our LA pays an allowance which is supposed to be spent on the child. The fee element is about £30 a week, so it's not really a job that you can rely on if you need income.

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 08:27:37

Hi I am a new foster carer. I've gave up my job to become a foster carer full time. I have no placement and no income at the minute!!!! It is a worry, I'm just hoping for that phone call so I can start my fostering journeysmile

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 30-May-13 10:34:03

Hi Catfriend, we had to demonstrate we have enough money to live on if we don't have a placement. Did your LA/ agency not ensure you would be able to? Have you no income at all?

Hope you get that call soon!

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 15:41:33

Hi lovesmileandlaugh My LA never asked me about savings. They said it was highly unlikely to be without a placement!!! I really hope I get a call soon aswell cos I can't live on nothing!!!! Have you had to wait long for placements??? I have no income at all!!!

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 30-May-13 15:44:14

We've been told by other carers that there has been an over-recruitment of foster carers, and our SSW has said it could be up to 9 months without a placement which is why they ensure we don't need the money.
How long have you been waiting? Are you able to claim benefits?

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 17:10:53

I've only been waiting 1 week but with no income at all it's hard. I have bills to pay and my own DD, which costs me a fortune ha ha ha. I'm not able to claim benefits as I left my j

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 17:11:43

job voluntary so unable to cla

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 17:12:25

Claim anything. Sorry about messages my computer has a mind of it's own ha ha

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 17:18:24

Lovesmileandlaugh what area are you fr

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 17:19:06

From and are you with your LA if you don't mind me asking??

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 30-May-13 19:42:52

That is tough, and is seems unfair of your LA to put you in that position. There could be many reasons why you were unable to take a placement. How much are they paying? Ours make a payment to the family on top of the child's allowance of about £70 a week. It certainly is not enough for us to use to support our family.

Because I've reduced my hours at work, we had to show very clearly how we would manage on our reduced income. They were very strict in that they did not want us to rely on them for money.

I'm presuming you are single and don't have a partners income supporting the family by your posts, apologies if I'm wrong!

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 19:57:01

Your correct lovesmileandlaugh I am single and I'm the only income in my house. If I don't have a placement I don't get any money from my LA. I only get CTC for my own daughter, but I can't rely on that as it isn't alot of money tbh. I'm just hoping it's not long till I get a phonesmile

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 30-May-13 20:13:01

How much do they pay when you have a placement? Is it enough to support you all? Ours wouldn't be!

Are they expecting you to top up with housing benefit/ council tax benefit and whatever else you could be entitled to? It sounds like you need some more specialised advice about what you can claim.

Our LA support the LAC, but only make a token payment for the foster family. It seems strange that they will be wholely supporting you and your DC too. I'm fairly sure you will be able to claim other benefits as the fostering allowance isn't considered income. Even if you get a placement tomorrow, I would still check out your position!

I hope you get it sorted! It is a scary position to be left in!

Catfriend Thu 30-May-13 22:53:53

Once I have a child in placement I will be able to get WTC and CTC. I've never looked into housing benefit before, I'm not sure if i would be eligible for it??!! What is the token payment??? And LAC???

lovesmileandlaugh Fri 31-May-13 04:40:24

Why can't you get the benefits before you have a child in placement? The advice you've been given is very different to what we were told. I'm not up to date with the benefits system, but they should be supporting you and your DD whilst SS support the foster child. You can't live on fresh air!!

Sorry, LAC is 'looked after child'.

Have you spoken to your SSW and made her aware that you've worked your notice and are ready and waiting? Do they know you don't have any other income at the moment?

Catfriend Fri 31-May-13 20:25:13

Hi lovesmileandlaugh my SSW is aware I have no income . I've looked into the money side more today, as I was getting abit worried with 'no income' got a meeting on Monday with my SSW to talk things over more in depth. I feel alot happier that I spole to yousmile

lovesmileandlaugh Sat 15-Jun-13 16:57:06

Hi Catfriend, was just wondering how things were going and if you've got sorted?

scarlet5tyger Sat 15-Jun-13 23:20:09

Hi Catfriend, I'm also a single carer. I have no children of my own so don't know much about child tax credit but was advised by the benefits agency when I started fostering that the best benefit to claim was Income Support. You are correct that you can't claim immediately if you give up work, but you can after about 6 weeks. This also entitles you automatically to council tax benefit and housing benefit. I wouldn't be able to continue fostering without it as my LA do not pay much above the basic cost of feeding a child.

I think income support will only cover you until the child you foster is 5 though, and you have to change to job seekers allowance if you're without a placement. This is a pain but I think it is changing shortly as the government has finally realised that a foster carer can't be expected to apply for jobs when they could be only waiting a couple of days before a new child is placed.

I hope this has helped slightly - and that it makes sense! I have a very cranky newborn at the moment and am suffering baby brain!

jojofun22 Mon 24-Jun-13 13:45:49

I foster for a agency and I'm hired by them, I get mine structured, basic, additional reimbursement and reward element, the 2nd is for clothing, treats, gifts to others etc. I pay tax on this but the tax allowance is quite generous. If I get two placements I can save quite a good amount to equal out when I dont have a placement. x

tomatojayne Tue 09-Jul-13 02:40:49

Hi catfriend... I became a fc in dec and waited a couple of months before getting my first placement. In this LA we only get the weekly allowance (for the child) if you have a child in place and so any other time you dont have income. I do infants so get the lowest amount, but its not enough to call an income, its barely enough to cover all the costs involved, going to meetings etc etc

I hope you get a call soon, I know how frustrating it can be waiting to hear, but it will happen :-)

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