Fostering allowances set too low, says charity

New national minimum allowances for foster carers proposed by the government are set at  “disastrously low levels”, a charity warned today.

Fostering Network said the figures, drawn up as part of a consultation document by the Department for Education and Skills, are in some cases £80 a week below its recommended allowances.

It accused the department of basing the allowances on out of date information. The charity’s chief executive Robert Tapsfield said it would make recruitment of foster carers even more difficult.

The proposed national minimum weekly allowance for  2006 is £99.56 for babies; £107.61 for pre-school children; £103.34 for primary age children and £112.89 for secondary age children. The rates are due to be issued in July this year.

Association of Directors of Social Services fostering lead Andrew Christie said local authorities would not reduce their rates where they already paid higher.

The government is seeking views on foster carers, including a national minimum allowance in the consultation launched by junior children’s minister Maria Eagle today.




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