Magazine article Public Finance

Proposed Foster Care Payments 'Disastrously Low'

Magazine article Public Finance

Proposed Foster Care Payments 'Disastrously Low'

Article excerpt

The government's proposed standard allowance for foster carers is 'disastrously low' and is likely to exacerbate serious shortages, campaigners warned this week.

A Department for Education and Skills consultation, launched on January 31, sets out measures to improve support for foster carers, including a weekly national minimum allowance: £99.56 for babies; £107.61 for pre-school children; £103.34 for primary school children; and £112.89 for secondary school children.

Allowance rates are currently determined by individual fostering services, whether local authorities or independent agencies, and vary considerably.

The Fostering Network, the UK's leading charity for all those involved in foster care, said a guaranteed minimum allowance should be good news but it was disappointed by the figures in the consultation paper.

Chief executive Robert Tapsfield said they were insufficient to cover the costs of fostering a child and did not cover additional expenses such as fuel and travel. …

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