Majority of carers give services free

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.

The findings are likely to raise concerns among social services
departments that their foster carers could be tempted to move to
private foster agencies, many of which pay more than £200 a

Of the 1,100 local authority and independent foster carers surveyed
between October 2003 and April 2004, 539 received no payments.
Others received as little as £20 a week and only one in 10
received a payment reflecting a minimum wage for a 40-hour week.

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

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