Most foster carers paid nothing

More than half of all foster carers are paid nothing for their
services, and a further 20 per cent receive less than £100 a
week, a survey by the Fostering Network shows, writes
Derren Hayes.

The findings are likely to raise concerns among social services
departments that their foster carers could be tempted to leave in
favour of working for private foster agencies, many of which offer
payments of more than £200 a week.

Of the 1,100 local authority and independent foster carers
surveyed between October 2003 and April 2004, 539 received no
payments. Of those who were paid a small amount, some received as
little as £20 a week and only one in 10 received an amount
reflecting a minimum wage for a 40-hour week.

Fostering Network’s executive director Robert Tapsfield
said too often foster carers were treated as volunteers.
“This leaves foster carers reliant on other sources of income
or on state benefits – no wonder there is such a massive

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