Of interest to every foster care agency is that one local authority is to introduce a new scheme designed to recruit another 200-300 Foster carers. Liverpool foster carers are set to have their council tax waived under a new scheme hoping to get more people to come forward to foster. The move could save families more than £1,000 a year. This innovative move has been introduced by Mayor Anderson who stated “We have got huge costs of providing support to fostering children and using outside agencies to place children away from the city as there are not enough foster carers here” Like many parts of the country, Liverpool is facing more demand as it has around 150 more looked-after children than it had five years ago and the total number is currently running at 1,000. It will be interesting to see if the move increases the numbers of applicants coming forward to foster. At Rainbow Fostering Agency we think there is certainly a need to send some powerful signals of encouragement as providing care is becoming increasingly difficult and likely to become even harder.
The Mayor went on to stress that the main motivation when considering fostering children and young people is the care of the children. Perhaps this initiative will be taken up in other parts of the country if successful. As far as the general tax situation applies there’s a fixed tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year (less if for a shorter period) which is shared equally among any foster carers in the same household. This means you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 income (after expenses) you make from fostering. On top of the £10,000 exemption, you also get tax relief for every week (or part week) that a child is in your care. This means you don’t have to pay tax on some of your earnings over £10,000.*
Government is clearly building in incentives within the general tax system in recognition of the need to find more foster carers. To have your council tax waived would seem, on the face of it, to be an attractive additional inducement for anyone considering becoming a foster carer: at Rainbow Fostering, we would always stress the main consideration has to be the desire to improve the life chances of children and young people. The financial side of the equation is clearly important but can never outweigh that initial heartfelt desire to want to provide a loving and caring environment for a child.
Have you ever wondered how do I become a foster carer? If the answer is yes, please contact us as we are one of the leading independent foster care agencies and can answer any questions you might have. If you are already a carer, perhaps you know someone who might be interested in also doing the valuable work you do.