Allowance – are foster carers paid?

The short answer is no.

Instead, an allowance is paid on a fortnightly basis to support adults to care for children in foster care. The allowance is designed to cover costs such as food, clothes, general schooling expenses such as lunch, stationary, petrol, toys, pocket money, general medical expenses.

The allowance will be linked to the age of a child and their needs. If you are caring for a 16 year old with complex needs your allowance will be far greater than if you are caring for a 2 year old with very low needs.

Each Australian State and Territory may have variations however the general age for cutting off the foster carer allowance is currently 18 years. More recently this is beginning to shift and in some jurisdictions the allowance is now paid until the young person completes high school (if they turn 18 before that time).

The States and Territories have set allowance rates, however if they have ‘outsourced’ some foster care to a non-government agency (also known as funded service provider) the agency rate may differ. 

To see your Government allowance rates:

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales 



Northern Territory

Western Australia


Do stay tuned though because there are moves to create a ‘professional foster carer model’ as well. Personally I am not a fan of this language as every foster carer has a duty of care to be professional in their role to support, connect and heal children in care.

The full-time paid foster care model is currently being trialed in NSW and will support higher needs children who are struggling in conventional family based foster care settings.

Queensland has also been trialing the professional foster care model

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s