All foster carers receive a weekly fostering allowance from their fostering service when they have a child in placement, which is designed to cover the cost of caring for a fostered child. This includes food, clothes, toiletries, travel and all other expenses incurred and varies depending on the age of the child. Some foster carers also get a fee for their time, skills and experience. This report focuses purely on the allowances given to the foster carer to cover the costs of looking after a fostered child.
The Welsh Government publishes national minimum allowances (NMAs) for foster carers in Wales, with the expectation that all fostering services meet these amounts. For many years we have conducted a survey of the fostering allowances given by local authorities. We know that not all local authorities meet the minimums, however, this year we are delighted that all local authorities in Wales are providing their foster carers with the national minimum allowance or above.
In the summer of 2019, The Fostering Network conducted a survey of all 22 local authorities in Wales using freedom of information (FOI) requests. This was done to monitor whether local authorities are meeting the NMAs set by the Welsh Government.
The wording of the FOI requests was as follows:
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?
2) Please could you tell me your 2019-20 weekly allowances to former foster carers looking after young people in When I am Ready 18+ arrangements, broken down by year 1, year 2, and year 3+ if necessary?
Read the full report and find out more here – https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/sites/www.fostering.net/files/wales_foster_care_allowances_survey_2019-20.pdf
And if you are interested in reading the allowances reports for England and Scotland, they are publicly available here: https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/policy-practice/research/allowances-surveys
Charlotte Wooders – The Fostering Network in Wales