Responding to the article in Sunday’s Observer newspaper about the “cash crisis pushing child services to tipping point”, Jackie Sanders, director of communications and public affairs at The Fostering Network, said: ‘It comes as absolutely no surprise that the local government association in England and others are calling for urgent investment into the children’s social care system. It is something for which we have been calling for some years and we are increasingly becoming concerned about the impact of austerity on the systems and services that support looked after children, and fostering in particular.
‘The Westminster Government must prioritise reviewing the allowances that foster carers receive to spend on the children in their care (only four in 10 foster carers say that the current allowance is sufficient); the funding of Staying Put to allow young people to remain living with their former foster carers; investment in the health and education services, especially mental health services, that fostered children and young people need to be able access; and provide sufficient money to allow fostering services to provide the support, training, respite and fees that all foster carers need.
‘Our fostered children and young people, as well as the families that care for them, require a fostering system that is fit for the 21st century. To achieve this will require funding. Investing in fostering now is sound economic practice as we spend now to prevent greater expenditure in the future. But much more importantly we cannot allow this generation of children to be unfairly impacted by cuts.’