Money Matters and Insurance


  1. Introduction
  2. The National Minimum Allowance Rates
  3. Allowances
  4. Claiming Benefits While Fostering
  5. Pensions
  6. Receipts
  7. Insurance: Foster Carers Insurance Requirements
  8. Insurance: Islington Councils Insurance Arrangements

1. Introduction

Once you have completed the preparation training and the fostering induction standards and have a child placed with you, you will receive at least the minimum fostering allowances listed in the tables below.

If you have any queries about allowances or if you think you have been under or over paid, contact the finance section in the fostering service as soon as possible.

Payments to you are made in arrears, direct to their bank or building society.

2. The National Minimum Allowance Rates

Click here for the national minimum fostering allowances.

The national minimum allowances are only the base minimum rates. The actual allowance that you will receive will depend on a number of factors, in particular the specific needs of the child. You may also get paid in recognition of your skills, commitment or time. Fostering agencies may make one payment to cover both of these.

3. Allowances

While a child is Looked After, they are entitled to a number of other allowances. The level of these payments is reviewed once a year.

Please see:

4. Claiming Benefits While Fostering

See GOV.UK website.

5. Pensions

If you foster you may be eligible for National Insurance Credits (GOV.UK) which count towards your State Pension.

6. Receipts

You should keep a record of how the allowance is being spent on a child/young person. You should keep receipts where possible. The child/young person should sign for money they are given e.g. pocket money and clothing allowance. This helps build a record of what has been spent, which you can show if asked about it at a later date.

7. Insurance: Foster Carers Insurance Requirements

As a foster carer it is really important that your insurance policy covers your foster children. When you become a foster carer with Islington you must inform your Home and Motor insurance company that you foster. You should also take the time to understand and be clear about how fostering children will affect your existing policy or a new insurance policy that you may apply for.

All children fostered by you must be included in your insurance policy.

Insurance companies will, for the purposes of the policy, include foster children as members of your family. The fostering Network recommends that you ask your insurance company for written confirmation that they have included your foster children on your policy. This view is endorsed by Islington Fostering Service.

What type of insurance do I need?

Islington Fostering service strongly recommends that Islington foster carers have the following cover

  • Household, buildings and contents insurance cover;
  • Motor vehicle Insurance.

It is essential that you discuss with your insurance company what cover your require and what will be suitable for you as a foster carer.

It is in your interest to make sure that you have the appropriate insurance cover.

What should insurance policies cover?

Household, buildings and insurance cover

The key areas in relation to home insurance are accidental damage, malicious damage and theft and physical attacks by a foster child.

The standard cover on most insurance policies does not cover you for accidental damage within the home caused by a foster child or indeed your own children. Your home insurance policy is likely to contain restrictions relating to damage caused by children that you foster. It is important that you inform the insurance company about any accidental damage in order that they can record the information on their records.

Foster carers are advised to purchase cover for any of their own children who are 18 and over and live at their home or they will not be covered.

As foster carers there will be a number of professionals or indeed families visiting your home. As a homeowner you could be liable for damages caused to visitors to your home if you have failed to take reasonable care to make sure that any visitor is safe. All policies, which include contents insurance, should automatically provide cover for any legal liabilities you have as the occupier of your home, for yourself and any other member of your family living with you. Please check with your insurers.

You can discuss with your insurance company how you can apply for accidental damage cover.

Damage to your own property by malicious persons is normally covered by a household insurance policy but most policies exclude deliberate damage and theft caused by any member of your family or anyone permanently residing with you which would include foster children. You must inform Islington council of any deliberate damage or theft by foster children.

Foster carers should insure their buildings and contents for the full replacement value including the value of the personal effects of any foster child residing with them. Your policy needs to be sufficient to meet the replacement costs in the event of any loss or damage.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

Islington foster carers must comply with the law in relation to motor insurance and inform their insurance company that they are fostering children. The insurance company should be asked to provide you with written confirmation that you have informed them that you are fostering.

The Transport Act and the Road Traffic (NI) Order 1995 state that seatbelts must be fitted to all cars under a certain age in both the front and back. It is the drivers’ responsibility to ensure that any person travelling in the car must wear a seatbelt. Vehicles must also carry the same number of passengers as it has seatbelts. If an accident occurs and the vehicle contained more occupants than seatbelts then insurers may not be in a position to help with a claim. Foster carers must also ensure that cars are fitted with car seats appropriate to the age and weight of the child that they are transporting.

It is important that the motor insurance applied for matches the allowed use of the vehicle. Any changes to the use of a vehicle may mean that you are not covered for that change.

If you do not have a full licence or road fuel tax your insurance will be treated as invalid and you would be breaking the law.

Foster carers need to inform their car insurance company that they are fostering and check that any existing policy is appropriate.

Insurance Checklist for Foster Carers

  • It is essential as a foster carer to have adequate Home insurance cover.
  • Always inform your insurance company when you become a foster carer;
  • Always ask your insurance company to confirm in writing that your insurance policy regards any children looked after as members of your family;
  • Always remind your insurance company when you renew your insurance policy that you foster;
  • Don’t forget if you change your insurance company you must inform the new company that you foster;
  • Always tell your insurance company the maximum number of children you are likely to foster at one time and their ages;
  • Always inform your insurance company if you consider there are any issues involving the foster child;
  • Please seek advice from a fostering manager regarding confidential information to be shared with insurance companies in respect of children looked after;
  • Check whether your insurance policy has an indemnity or replacement policy. The cover should be sufficient to cover replacement costs.

Foster carers can receive independent Insurance adviceĀ from the Fostering Network and Fosterline.

8. Insurance: Islington Councils Insurance Arrangements

Islington council has a duty to provide you with information about its insurance arrangements as they relate to fostering. This section will provide you with general information regarding those arrangements in relation to household insurance and motor vehicle insurance.

Household buildings and contents cover

Where a foster carer is not covered by their insurance policy, because damage by a foster child was caused deliberately, or where there is excess payment on the policy, consideration will be given by the department to meeting those costs. Foster carers must provide the following information to the Fostering Service:

  • Written records of the incident, including time, date, details of loss/damage and any witnesses. Receipts should be attached if possible;
  • Copy of the insurance company’s response to the insurance claim;
  • Written estimate of the cost of the damage-or receipt if the damage has already been repaired;
  • The theft or loss should be reported to the Police and a record kept of the Police incident number;
  • The supervising social worker will discuss the claim, with the carer and then make a recommendation to the fostering team manager who will then discuss the claim with the insurance section and the service manager.

Motor Vehicle insurance

The council’s insurance does not cover damage to foster carers own vehicles. In the event of a claim causing the loss of a no claims bonus or increased annual premiums because of action directly attributed to a foster child the foster carer should provide full details in writing to the supervising social worker who will discuss the claim with the Fostering Manager. Financial assistance will only be agreed in exceptional circumstances.

Fostering Network

Islington Fostering Service pays for all Islington Foster carers to be individual members of the Fostering Network. This includes insurance cover for foster carers in respect of legal advice and legal expenses in certain circumstances. The fostering network insurance policy covers:

  • Free legal advice in connection with possible legal action;
  • Legal expenses, in some circumstances, for the foster family for criminal prosecution brought against them for the mistreatment or abuse of the foster child placed with the family.

Membership of the fostering network includes access to a 24-hour legal advisory service for individuals or families that have personal membership.

The Fostering Network also has legal expenses insurance scheme, which pays for the cost of any criminal prosecution, brought against The member or retired member and his or her parents, husband, wife or partner and their children, all of whom are permanently resident within Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. The majority of civil claims are not covered by the policy but the fostering network will refer the matter to the underwriters upon request.

Legal expenses for criminal prosecution will only be paid on a ‘not guilty’ plea and if the solicitor acting for you feels that you have a good chance of success. In those situations claims would be paid even if a finding of guilty were made.

For more information please contact the Fostering Network or look online at for their downloadable copy of the Legal Protection Insurance User Guide.

Public liability

Islington council covers its carers in the case of public liability on the basis of a legal obligation and only if your own insurance will not cover you in the event of accidental injury or damage to property.