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.
You are here
Despite the fact that most foster carers don't shout a lot about pay - indeed among the motivations for fostering as reported by foster carers, fee payments are consistently ranked low on the list - it doesn't mean foster carers shouldn't get paid or that pay is not important to them.
Nearly 1,500 foster carers in England took part in the survey which revealed that, although the number of foster carers who receive a fee payment is increasing, only one in 10 receives the equivalent of the national living wage for a 40-hour week.
Other key findings from the survey include:
In response the launch of the independent Care Review in Scotland yesterday, chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, said:
'We welcome the launch of the Care Review and look forward to continuing to support Fiona Duncan as chair and working with the group to share the views of our members in Scotland.
Responding to the announcement at the SNP conference by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon of a root and branch review of the care system, Sara Lurie, director of The Fostering Network Scotland, said:
The recommended national minimum allowance rates for foster carers in England for 2016-17 published by the Department for Education show there will be no increase.
The guidance contains clear information about how fostering services should support foster carers financially. It is thanks to The Fostering Network’s campaigning that this requirement was written into the law.
About allowances in Scotland
As a result of our pressure, the Scottish Government is currently conducting a review of fostering, kinship care, and adoption allowances, and has convened a working group in which we are involved. After years of campaigning it now looks likely that progress will be made.
The children and young people needing foster care today have many different needs but all require their foster carers to be skilled, knowledgeable, committed to them and recognised as a key professional in the team that supports them.
Despite this, many foster carers are not paid for the skills, time and expertise they bring to fostering. Of those who are paid, only a minority receive anything resembling a living wage, although a very small number do get significant fee payments.
The fostering allowance is designed to cover the cost of caring for a fostered child. Fee payments can be made on top of allowances, but there is no requirement for this. As a result, the amounts being paid vary hugely across the country, with only a small minority of foster carers even receiving the equivalent of the national living wage for a 40-hour week.