Additional funding for foster care in Northern Ireland
Today the Department of Health in Northern Ireland announced additional funding of almost £1 million to support foster carers and supported lodging hosts.
The funding package aims to help foster carers to continue the vital work they are doing, by providing additional funding of £25 per week for each child or young person being looked after between January 2022 and March 2022.
The Fostering Network welcomes this funding announcement from Robin Swann, MLA, Minister for Health, which aims to support foster and kinship carers, recognises the centrality of foster carers within health and social care and acknowledges the importance of foster care in achieving positive outcomes for children.
Kathleen Toner, director of The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland, says: ‘I am delighted to have worked with the Department on achieving this outcome for foster carers. After two years of the pandemic, in which foster carers and kinship foster carers have proven their resilience and their commitment to maintaining stability for the children they care for, I welcome the Minister's statement today.’
It is vitally important that foster carers are recognised for their unique and valuable skillset and ability to provide specialist round-the-clock care.
Our State of the Nation’s Foster Care 2021 report shows foster carers across the UK are continuing to be out of pocket as a result of caring for a child on behalf of the state. Foster carers must be properly resourced and supported so they can fully meet the needs of the child or young person in their care.
The Fostering Network will continue to engage with the recently announced Independent Review of Children's Social Care Services in Northern Ireland to further highlight issues of concern to foster carers in Northern Ireland to achieve better outcomes for children.