After a recent review, Foster Portsmouth is pleased to have been able to uplift our allowances and skills fees.

Whilst their main motivation is making a difference to children’s lives, our foster carers naturally need to consider how they will be able to continue to manage their household finances as they start their fostering journey.

Foster Portsmouth offer a competitive financial package made up of the recently increased allowances and skill fees.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, comments:

“The review in fees and allowances for our dedicated foster carers reflects how highly we value them and the care they provide. At Foster Portsmouth, we’re proud to be able to offer our carers a comprehensive financial, training and support package which enables them to concentrate on providing what matters most; extraordinary care to the vulnerable children and young people in need from Portsmouth.”

Zhoura, one of Foster Portsmouth’s dedicated foster carers confirmed:

“There’s good financial support from Portsmouth City Council.”

Another of our foster carers Glynis agreed that:

“It enables the children in your care to participate in things that they may not always have had the opportunity to do, and live a better lifestyle.”

We do have many foster carers who choose to continue to work alongside fostering. This decision depends on the type of fostering they want to do and their existing work commitments. However, regardless of their work status, with regular placements our package can provide our foster carers with a steady and dependable income that enables them to focus on providing a loving home for the children in their care.

The weekly allowance is received for each child to cover day-to-day costs of housing, clothing and feeding the child/ren, as well as incidentals such as pocket money, hobbies and clubs, trips and stationery.

Foster carers also receive set allowances to cover additional costs including caring for a child over Christmas and other significant religious festivals, as well as their birthdays. In addition, they receive an activity allowance to cover school breaks and a holiday allowance for the child/ren in their care. They can also claim back some expenses.

Foster carers Rachel and James shared:

“The financial support we’ve received from Portsmouth City Council has enabled us to offer our young person some really positive opportunities, some activities, some breaks away, but to also make him feel good about himself. We’ve been able to buy him some clothes that raise his self-esteem and to raise his confidence, which has been absolutely lovely to watch.”

In addition to fostering allowances, carers with the necessary skills and experience to care for young people with more complex needs will receive additional weekly or specialist skill fees. Others will have the opportunity, with ongoing professional training, to gain additional expertise to progress to these higher skill levels.

Foster carers also benefit from some tax relief and exemptions, as well as support with necessary equipment, discounts from schemes such as the Portsmouth Leisure Card, and free membership to The Fostering Network.

Two more of our foster carers Tony and Patsy added:

“Foster Portsmouth also offer free activities throughout the year, especially around the holidays, and help with discounts [at venues]. I don’t feel like we’re really out of pocket.”

Patsy concluded:

“I love being a positive part of someone’s journey. They might stay over six months or a couple of years, but being able to help them at that time is great and hopefully they remember it fondly. If it wasn’t rewarding, we wouldn’t still be here doing it. We’d say, if you’re thinking about it, just dive straight in!”

The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering. Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom could foster with Foster Portsmouth regardless of age, gender, faith, ethnicitysexualitymarital, residential or work status.

This could be a short or long-term arrangement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for children with a disability or unaccompanied children seeking safety and asylumsupported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, a parent and baby placement, or respite care.

Foster carers receive local round the clock support and ongoing quality training including through our mentoring scheme and our innovative award-winning Mockingbird programme which provides a support network of other foster carers similar to that of an extended family. Foster Portsmouth also offers a competitive financial package, social activities, regular placement opportunities and an accelerated application process.

For more information on fostering, people can contact the fostering recruitment team on 023 9283 4071, visit www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk or email fostering@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.