Local authorities in poor areas may receive more cash for fostering

The government is considering giving councils with high levels
of deprivation and ethnic minority populations more money to cover
the costs of foster caring, writes Derren

The proposal, one of three under consideration, as part of a
review of foster costs – itself part of a wider examination of how
social services is funded – aims to reflect the extra costs of
recruiting and retaining foster carers in high cost areas.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Local Government Association conference
on the formula grants distribution white paper, Henry Rogers, the
head of the department of health’s social services spending review,
said there was evidence to suggest that social class and ethnicity
were good indicators of foster care costs.

“It could be that low earning people are more prepared to become
foster carers, and maybe people from ethnic minority backgrounds
are more difficult to place (in foster care),” he explained.

Another option the review is looking at is for local authority
social services grants to be increased based on how much they spend
on fostering services. Current funding levels account for foster
costs being 17.5 per cent of total children’s services expenditure,
but it is believed the figure has risen to nearly 20 per cent.

A third option is to update a range of social indicators already
used to measure foster service costs to recognise the spiralling
costs of foster care.

The consult ends on the 30 September. Submissions can be sent to

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