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Fostering Pays £20K-40K a Year, and Other Mythbusting Facts on Foster Care/ 16.5.2013• A. Velasco• Posted At 03:33 PM

Myths about fostering – from how long the wait period is to how little you receive – are keeping Britons from opening up their homes and hearts to vulnerable children when they need it most.

Currently, there is a shortage of foster parents that means 9,000 children don’t have a good home. This is likely due to misconceptions about the foster care system, as a survey on Netmums from UK foster agency Compass Community has shown widespread ignorance that could hurt children’s chances at getting placed with the right family.

Fostering pays

One of the biggest misconceptions about fostering is that it is too expensive, or that only rich people can afford to do it. However, foster parents can be and are from all backgrounds, as carers are given an allowance to meet the child’s needs. This can be anywhere from £20,000 to £40,000 a year, depending on each individual child’s needs. However, over half of survey respondents said that they believe they would receive just £5,000, over four times less than foster parents receive in reality.

9 in 10 people assumed that they would receive less than £15,000 a year, which means that as many as 90 percent of people in the UK think that fostering a vulnerable child is more expensive than it actually is.

Combating people’s false perceptions is crucial to lowering the shortage of foster carers in the UK.

The fostering application process

It’s not just the financial aspects of fostering that many Britons are misinformed about. The Netmums survey also revealed that a third of people think it takes over 2 years to go through the process of becoming a foster parent. In reality, it takes just 4-6 months to go through the process of applying and being accepted as a foster parent through Compass Community fostering agency, they have said.

The agency’s Chief Executive, Ian Pigden Bennett, said: “Four out of five mums who took part in the survey say they are or may be interested in fostering at some point in the future. But there’s something stopping them taking that next step. It could be because they don’t realise what they could earn or indeed who is eligible. We’re looking for people from all backgrounds, whether single or a couple, yet two fifths mistakenly believe single people are not allowed to foster.”

In addition, many people believe that you need to own property, have a driver’s license, have children of your own, or even have certain childcare certifications in order to foster.

In reality, what’s needed is an adult over the age of 21, with a spare bedroom, to have the place in their heart and their home to “give a child a childhood.”

 Arabela Velasco of, a leading children’s savings website, said: “The results of the Compass Community survey highlight how little we really know about fostering. Parents may be afraid that fostering could could put a strain on their family’s resources, or their ability to save into a Junior ISA for their children’s future. However, fostering won’t break the budget as foster parents are given enough to meet the child’s needs — and it’s easier to apply than most people think.”


  1. Karen Marie Vela
    posted on 16 May 2013

    if fostering pays so much, can you give us the actual figure for what welfare recipients receive for the SAME children? because if the number is lower than, something is deadly wrong. Natural parents cannot receive that much to raise their own children, but others can. It’s a baby selling scheme!

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