Minister shares concerns about foster carers paying from their own pocket
In response to research conducted by the Fostering Network, children’s minister for England, Tim Loughton, has written to all local authority fostering services reminding them of their obligation to provide foster carers with minimum allowances.
The research shows that in England 10 local authorities are paying below the recommended rate of allowances set by the Government. In addition to this it was revealed that over half of fostering services had frozen their allowances in 2011/12, leaving some foster carers worse off due to the rising cost of living.
Fostering allowances are meant to cover the costs of looking after a fostered child, but this shortfall means some foster carers will have to dip into their own pockets to ensure the children are getting all the essentials they need.
Vicki Swain, Campaigns Manager at the Fostering Network said, “We are extremely concerned that if action is not taken, the number of local authorities paying below the minimum will increase.
“This will impact not only on foster carers, but on the quality of care they can provide to children. It will also have long term implications for recruitment and retention of the foster care workforce.”
In his letter to fostering services, Tim Loughton congratulated the Fostering Network and fostering services on the hard work seen locally, regionally and nationally to recruit foster carers during Foster Care Fortnight 2012.
You can read the minister’s letter in full here. For more information about our campaigns work, please visit the campaigns section of our website.