Minimum allowances announced for 2011

The Fostering Network has announced its minimum recommended allowances for foster carers for 2011-12.

The allowances are designed to cover a foster carer’s spending on looking after an individual fostered child. They are uprated annually on the basis of inflation, and are widely recognised as the benchmark for the costs of looking after fostered children.

The new rates start at £131.47 per week for the youngest children (£154.30 including London weighting) and increase with the age of the child. The Fostering Network encourages fostering services across the UK to meet these rates for all of their foster carers, to avoid them being out of pocket as a result of fostering.

The increase from last year is based on RPI (retail prices index) predictions for 2011 (3.5 per cent), together with an adjustment for 2010 and 2009, when the actual RPI turned out to be higher than expected. The Fostering Network uses the RPI as it includes the effect of mortgage payments, which are important as the cost of keeping a home suitable for fostering is a critical cost of providing foster care.

The minimum recommended allowances do not contain any element to compensate for the indirect costs of fostering (that is, the time spent by foster carers on fostering), nor do they contain any element that recognises the foster carer’s level of skills and training. The Fostering Network believes that all foster carers should receive a separate fee payment that provides remuneration for their work, skills and experience.

See the recommended allowance for 2011-12.

For queries about the recommended minimum allowance please contact our campaigns manager Vicki Swain on vicki.swain@fostering.net. For media enquiries, contact the media team on media@fostering.net or 020 7620 6425.

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