Cost of living payment for foster carers

Eligible foster carers, family carers, special guardian carers and grandparent carers received a one-off cost of living payment in late January 2024 to ease cost of living pressures.
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The State Government appreciates the incredible work carers do and is committed to providing them with the supports they need to care for vulnerable children.

A one-off cost of living payment was provided to eligible foster and family carers, special guardian carers and grandparent carers in late January 2024 to ease cost of living pressures, including the added pressure of return to school costs.

Eligible primary carers (as at 31 December 2023) received a payment of $500 for the first child in their care, and $250 for each additional child in their household. Eligible carers were:

  • Department of Communities foster carers and family carers
  • Special guardians (having a special guardianship order)
  • Community sector organisation foster carers
  • Grandparent carers (receiving the Grandcarers Support Scheme payment).

Eligible carers that previously had children placed with them at any time during the 2023 calendar year (but had no current children in their care) also received a one-off $500 payment.

Approximately 5,600 households who care for more than 7,700 children received the cost of living payment, amounting to nearly $3.6 million.

When and how was the payment made?

Eligible primary foster and family carers and special guardian carers automatically received the cost of living payment from the Department of Communities in their bank account from 16 January 2024. This was deposited to the same account they have received their regular subsidy payments by the Department. 

Eligible grandparent carers also automatically received the cost of living payment from the Department of Communities in their bank account from 16 January 2024. This was deposited to the same account they received their most recent Grandcarers Support Scheme payment by the Department.

Eligible primary foster carers that are engaged through community service organisations received the payment in their bank account from 30 January 2024 from their organisation on behalf of the Department of Communities. The Department provided a lump sum payment to the relevant organisation who was then responsible for providing the payments to their carers.

What can I use the money for?

Although it was paid to carers to assist with cost of living expenses, including return to school costs, the cost of living payment can be used at the carer’s discretion.

Will the payment impact regular carer subsidy payments or social housing rental fees?

The cost of living payment was one-off and in addition to the regular subsidy payments that carers receive – it will not impact current or future subsidy applications made by carers. For grandparent carers receiving Grandcarers Support Scheme payments – this will not change the date you will be eligible to apply again in 2024.

The cost of living payment will not impact rental fees for carers living in social housing properties.

Contacts

Further enquiries can be directed to:

Carers engaged through a community service organisation must contact their organisation about the payment. 

Grandparent carers engaged through Wanslea can phone 1800 794 909 or email gss@wanslea.org.au.

All other carers and special guardians can contact the Department of Communities via phone on 1800 182 178 or email on FCCOLP@communities.wa.gov.au.