Additional Funding for Foster Carers in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister, Robin Swann, on Friday, announced additional funding of £754,800 for all foster carers and approved kinship carers in Northern Ireland.
Details of the additional funding was shared in a thank you letter to foster carers from Minister Swann, and equates to an extra 20 per cent of the weekly food and household elements of the allowance foster carers in Northern Ireland receive for each child they care for, for a limited period.
Announcing the funding Health Minister Robin Swann said: ‘Foster carers do incredible work providing 24/7 care for children and young people. The pandemic has meant that foster carers have faced many challenges, including coping with the increased levels of anxiety and pressure, keeping children occupied, managing home schooling and, in some cases, supporting children and young people with their behaviour.
'Unfortunately many have experienced financial pressures while at the same time worrying about the negative impact the pandemic has had on the emotional wellbeing of the children and young people in their care. In spite of these challenges, the majority of foster carers have continued to provide settled and stable home environments for children and young people. I hope this additional support will help convey my sincere thanks to foster carers for the self-less role they play.’
Welcoming the announcement Kathleen Toner, director of The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland, said: ‘We are delighted the Minister has agreed to provide this additional uplift in allowances to foster and kinship foster carers. This support, which addresses the additional financial pressures experienced by fostering families as a result of the pandemic, is greatly welcomed, as is the Minister’s recognition of the vital role foster carers have in our communities. Foster carers and kinship carers are continuing to provide safety, stability and emotional continuity for vulnerable children at this very challenging time.’
The announcement follows support provided in June 2020, and brings the total support provided to foster carers and approved kinship carers in Northern Ireland to £1.39 million since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more about foster care allowances in Northern Ireland.