Foster carers shortchanged again

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Following the Department for Education’s publication of new national minimum allowance rates for England – applicable from April 2018 – The Fostering Network's chief executive Kevin Williams said: 'The Government has increased foster care allowances for the 2018-19 financial year by only 1.5 per cent, which is not keeping pace with inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is standing at three per cent, and the Retail Price Index (RPI) at 2.7 per cent.

'We know that 60 per cent of foster carers already feel that their allowances do not meet the full cost of looking after a child, and this below inflation rise will continue to leave foster carers feeling short changed. Allowances are to cover spending on a child, so if they don’t keep pace with prices then either foster carers will be out of pocket or fostered children will be going without.

'It is worth noting that since the abolition of the public sector pay cap last autumn, council workers have been offered a two per cent rise. Foster carers are feeling the squeeze to an even greater extent than their public sector peers.

'This cannot continue. It is crucial that the Government commits to reviewing the rate of the national minimum allowance as a matter of urgency.'