From September 2018 Foster Carers can apply for the extended 15 hours for fostered children so long as the criterion is met:
- Accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child's care plan, placing the child at the centre of the process and decision making.
- In a two parent family, when both partners are foster carers, both must engage in any amount of paid work outside their role as a foster carer. If one partner is not a foster parent they must meet the criteria for working the equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum or living wage as outlined above.
- In a single parent foster family, the foster parent must engage in any amount of paid work outside their role as foster carer.
Adopted parents can claim the extended 15 hours for legally adopted children from 31 days before returning work (or if already at work) and if they meet the earnings criteria. Parents can still apply for their own birth child at any point whilst on adoption leave for another child.