More councils pay recommended rate

Although there has been an increase in councils meeting the minimum fostering allowance recommended by campaigners, half of the UK’s foster carers are still losing out, research has found.

The Fostering Network survey found that an extra £35m a year is needed to bring all authorities in England up to its minimum recommended allowance of £112 per week.

The study found that 40 per cent of authorities in England were paying below the recommended amount, down from 46 per cent last year and 56 per cent in 2002-3.

In the UK as a whole 50 per cent of authorities were paying below the recommended allowance, down from 67 per cent in 2002-3.

The government will consult on a statutory minimum allowance early next year. The Fostering Network urged it to introduce rates at least as high as its own or risk undermining the good work of many councils.

A Department for Education and Skills spokesperson said the government was aware of the disparity in council rates and was considering proposals that would make the system fairer.

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