Support and services

Carer support payments for foster carers

The Carer Support Payment system provides assistance to foster carers to help them meet the costs of caring for a child.

Carer payments

The payment is paid automatically to registered carers who have a child placed in their care.

The payment is not a wage or salary, but rather a reimbursement to you for the costs of caring for a child. It is designed to help cover the day-to-day costs of caring for a child or young person.

The payment is not classed as income and does not need to be listed:

  • in tax returns
  • on applications for Commonwealth benefits
  • when applying for a loan.

Visit the Department for Child Protection (DCP) website to read more about carer payments and download the Carer Support Payments handbook for specific amounts, or contact the Carer Payment Team - phone 8226 6666 or email for further information.

Additional payments for children with special needs

Recipients of carer support payments may be eligible for an additional payment or loading to help with the extra costs of caring for a child or young person with special needs.

This may include children with physical or intellectual disability, or extremely challenging behaviours.

The amount paid for each loading will vary depending on the level of intellectual or physical disability. The DCP caseworker will determine the level of additional loading through a number of assessments.

Visit the DCP website to read more about additional payments, download the carer payment rates and loadings for specific amounts or contact the Carer Payment team for further information.

Incidental payments

The Department for Child Protection provides one-off payments that are not covered by the fortnightly carer support payment.

These costs are called incidental expenses and are usually for extra expenses associated with:

  • family contact
  • reunification
  • maintaining contact with extended family members
  • therapy due to previous abuse or neglect.

Carers can also apply for one-off payments to help cover the cost of irregular expenses such as medical appointments or school camps.

School Card

All school students in foster care are eligible for the School Card. It offers financial assistance with educational expenses for students attending government and non-government schools.

School Card scheme

Australian government payments and support

Foster carers may also be eligible to receive additional payments from the federal government such as:

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Page last updated 12 June 2018

Provided by:
Department for Child Protection
Last Updated:
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