Foster Carer Allowance
Foster carers are provided with a carer allowance that is a contribution towards ensuring that children are well provided for and have opportunities to participate in activities that they enjoy.
Accredited agencies must pass on the full amount of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) published rates at a minimum. Some agencies choose to pay more than the minimum for certain carer types (for example emergency and short term carers).
If a child is assessed by FACS or the foster care agency as having extra needs, then the amount of the carer allowance increases accordingly.
As with all parents, foster carers are eligible for financial assistance from Centrelink depending on their work and financial circumstances. The Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and financial institutions do not consider this allowance as income.
For more details about financial support, download the 2018/19 carer allowance rates, Teenage Education Payment Guidelines
Financial support for children
Under the Permanency Support Program, all children and young people receive a Case Plan Goal Package, a Baseline Package and a Child Needs Package.
These funding packages are managed by your agency. They are designed to be used flexibility to address the needs of children, young people and their families in order to achieve their case plan goal. This includes addressing any medical or dental needs.
One-off financial support for complex needs
A Specialist Package for complex needs has been created to address extraordinary circumstances. It is a one-off or time-limited payment.
There are three complex needs payment categories:
1. Therapeutic behaviour support
2. Disability care
3. Additional rostered staff
Your agency may make a submission to FACS to consider making a discretionary payment for an additional services and/or support, the absence of which would compromise a child or young person’s health, safety or wellbeing or compliance with a court order.
If, for example, excessively expensive dental work is required, service providers could make a submission to cover costs that could not be funded through the packages.
Find out more information on complex needs payments.
Download the application form.
Financial assistance for guardians
Guardians are eligible for financial assistance to support the children and young people in their care.
The guardian will receive a guardianship allowance at the same rate as the FACS statutory care allowance. The guardianship allowance is based on the individual needs of the child or young person as outlined in their care or case plan, and on the age of the child or young person.
The FACS Carer allowance 2017-18 factsheet indicates the allowance rates per fortnight.
Additional guardianship support payments
When approved as part of the child or young person's care plan, guardians may have limited access to additional guardianship support payments in the following areas:
- medical and dental
- professional therapy
- cultural support plan and life story work
The support payments must be agreed upon before a guardianship order is granted. Once a guardianship order has been made it's not possible to request any additional financial support.
Download the factsheet for more information.
Financial assistance for other non-parent carers
If you are a grandparent or non-parent carer of children, you may be eligible for financial assistance. The benefits that are available to you are detailed on the Human Services website.