Statement on the cost of living increase: national minimum allowances
Weekly fostering allowances are designed to cover the full costs of looking after a child or young person in foster care. No foster carer should be out of pocket as a result of caring for a child on behalf of the state.
In Wales, England and Northern Ireland there is a national minimum allowance and each year in April, these allowances are uprated to reflect the increase in the cost of living.
It has been well documented that this year, all families are facing unprecedented increases in their cost of living. In April, inflation is set to peak at around 8 per cent, energy price caps will jump and National Insurance contributions rise.
The Fostering Network's State of the Nation 2021 report found that over a third of foster carers said that their allowances do not meet the full cost of looking after a child. This survey was carried out ten months ago in Summer 2021.
We urge governments and fostering services when they calculate the fostering allowance levels for April 2022 to 2023, to ensure they reflect the sharp increase in the cost of living and meet the full costs of caring for a child.
In the longer term, governments across the UK should undertake a comprehensive review of the minimum levels of fostering allowances set in their respective countries using up to date evidence to ensure that they cover the full costs of looking after a child.