Seize the opportunity to make allowances fair in Scotland
Make Foster Care Fair, a new campaign from the Fostering Network, is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a national minimum allowance for foster carers.
All foster carers get an allowance to cover the costs of looking after a fostered child, but Scotland is the only country in the UK which doesn’t set a minimum rate and this is leading to a postcode lottery.
The charity’s latest survey of allowances shows that some local authority foster carers receive up to £3,000 per year less than foster carers in neighbouring authorities to spend on a fostered child.
The survey, which looked at allowances paid by local authorities in 2012-13, showed that one in five (19%) pay under £100 per week for the youngest children. In contrast, the Welsh government recommends £143 per week, while in England and Northern Ireland rates start from £114.
The Scottish Government is currently seeking views on allowances as part of a consultation on the Children and Young People’s Bill. The Fostering Network will be strongly recommending that the Government introduces a statutory minimum allowances to bring the payments in line with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network Scotland, said, “The Scottish Government has to address the fact that many fostered children in Scotland are financially disadvantaged compared with children in the rest of the UK. And the postcode lottery in allowances means that many are more disadvantaged than their own neighbours. This is why we are delighted that allowances are included in the consultation and we encourage people to respond.
“No foster carer should be out of pocket as a result of fostering and the financial cost of looking after fostered children has always been recognised in the form of an allowance paid to foster carers. In Northern Ireland, Wales, and England the governments set national minimum allowances each year, and we want the Scottish Government to do the same.”
You can respond to the Scottish Government consultation on the Children’s and Young People’s Bill before is 25 September 2012 by visiting the Scottish Government website. More information on how to respond to the consultation is available in the campaigns section of our website.
Foster carers are also invited to attend our consultation events and you can sign up to these on our website.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.