New allowances can ‘only cover basics’

Councils should top up the newly announced minimum fostering allowances for England with extra payments to cover additional housing costs or special events, according to a charity.

British Association for Adoption and Fostering chief executive David Holmes said it should be made clear that the allowances, due to come into force next April, were to pay for the “absolute basics” only.

Good practice guidance published last week alongside the allowance rates says they are not supposed to cover additional costs associated with birthdays, holidays or adaptations to accommodation.

But Fostering Network policy and campaign manager Vicki Swain (pictured) said the chances of councils making extra payments were “very slim” and the additional costs should have been factored into the minimum rates.

She said many councils would not have the money to make extra payments because the government only provided funding to cover the minimum allowances.

The proposed allowances offer a higher rate for 16 and 17-year-olds but the scheme falls well below the minimum the charity recommends.

Guidance from Every Child Matters 

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