Author: The Fostering Network
In the summer of 2019, The Fostering Network conducted a survey of local authorities in England via freedom of information (FOI) requests. The purpose of the survey was monitor whether local authorities who have previously set their allowances below or at the NMA level are meeting the NMAs set by the Department for Education. This report includes the data from fostering services who have set their allowances below or at the NMA level over the past five years, including this year. 58 local authorities met this criterion.
The local authorities were asked the following question:
1) Please could you tell me your 2019-20 weekly foster care allowances for all age bands, NOT including any fee/reward element for foster carers?
In addition, we asked all local authorities in England the details of the allowances given to former foster carers in Staying Put arrangements and the foster care allowance level for 16-18 to make comparisons of any changes post-18. The results from these questions will be published in a separate forthcoming Staying Put report.
Even though FOI requests should be a reliable way of gathering information, we became aware that some of the information that was given to us was not correct. Where we have become aware of inaccuracies we have sought for clarification and used the updated, accurate figures in the tables below rather than the figures obtained via the FOI request. In each of these cases we have sought clarification direct from the local authority. Given the difficulty in sometimes gathering accurate information about foster care, it highlights the need to make clear and publicly available all foster care allowances set by fostering services.