The Department for Child Protection provides all family-based carers with a carer support payment to help them meet the costs of caring for a child or young person.

Carer payments

The carer payment is paid automatically to approved family-based carers who have a child placed in their care.

The payment is not a wage or salary, but a reimbursement 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.

Under the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Taxation Determination TD2006/62, payments to a volunteer foster carer to provide foster care are not assessable income.

For more information, please visit the ATO Taxation Determination TD2006/62 webpage.

Please see below for more information:

Carer payment rates and loadings are updated annually on 1 July.

Recipients of care 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 challenging behaviours.

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

See the carer payment rates and loadings (PDF, 976.3 KB) for specific amounts or contact the Carer Payment team for further information.

The department provides one-off payments that are not covered by the fortnightly care 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.

Carer payments for young people over 18

The department is committed to supporting young people in care to reach their full potential now and into the future.

There are two programs available to support carers and young people over the age of 18.

Post-18 carer payments infographic (PDF 592KB)

Stability in Family-Based Care Program and Over 18 Education Initiative

The Stability Post Care Team helps eligible young people leaving care remain in their family-based care placement and provides carers with continued basic carer payments until the young person turns 21.

For young people participating in secondary or tertiary studies, these payments may include the education grant and cease when the young person moves out of the family home, completes their qualification or turns 25 - whichever is sooner.

See SPC Program fact sheet (PDF, 169 KB) for further program information and eligibility details. For further information on payments see the Carer Support Payments - Carer Handbook (PDF, 907.8 KB).

To apply to the program, both the carer and the young person in care just need to complete the SPC application form (DOC, 155 KB). The form is submitted to

Other supports available

There are a number of financial support options available outside of the department.

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.

See school card scheme on the website for more information.

Australian government payments and support

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


Phone: 8226 6666


Page last updated: 10 December 2021