FOI Request - Foster Care Allowances

Request 101000158146

1.Can you tell me please how much is paid every year to a foster carer for each child.

2.Can you tell me how much is paid every year to a kinship carer (I am looking at the example of a grandparent specifically) for each child.

3.Are there any differences in the amount of financial support paid to either kinship carers or foster parents? If so, what are the differences, how much do they total for each different criterion, and why do these differences exist?

4.Do foster parents get a start-up grant covering a checklist of items they are allowed to buy for the child?

5.If so, how much is the start-up grant? What items does it cover? And would a kinship carer be entitled to the same grant?

6.If kinship carers get a similar grant, how much is this grant for and what items does it cover?

7.Do kinship carers and/or foster parents get a weekly allowance or any other form of allowance? If so, how much is it for and what does it cover?

8.Is there any other support, which is non-financial, which foster parents get and kinship carers do not?

Response 25-06-2013

1. The sum varies on a number of factors - age of child, whether permanent or short term, whether carer is new and less experienced (would impact on the range of needs they can support), etc. Foster carers receive both a fee in recognition of their role, and an allowance for the child. Age of child impacts on the allowances but not the fee.  The fee is based on whether child is in permanent care or whether the carer is new or a respite placement.

2. Kinship carers do not receive a fee but they do receive an allowance for the care of the child.  This allowance varies based on age of the child and eligibly for central funded financial support. Age 0 – 4 = £80.40, age 5 – 10 = £99.76, age 11-15 = £124.17, and 16+ = £160.78

3. Base line start point for the allowance for caring for children is different : for children in foster care the tFN rates apply for allowances. For children in kinship carer the allowance rates are those referred to as the old COSLA rates.  The reasoning in difference is that more usually foster carers care for children unknown to them: kinship families the child/ family more usually have a pre-existing relationship.

4. Based on need and equipment already in place.

5. Kinship carers too may have support for certain items depending on need etc

6. No set figure for start up for kinship, need is assessed and items required paid by the local child care team. The focus is the item required such as buggy/ car seat / bed.  Kinship carers have the opportunity for a loan in circumstances where the existing family car is too small given the increase in numbers of children needing transported and cared for.

7. Foster carers get a fee as well as allowances.  Kinship carers get allowances only but may be eligible to claim other benefits.  

8. Non-financial support to foster carers would include a dedicated link social worker, foster carer support worker time and training events.  Kinship carers have access to training and specific support where this is assessed and identified as part of the kinship approval process. Formal kinship have access to the child’s social worker for additional support. Section 11 kinship come through the kinship worker for advice and guidance and signposting to other agencies.

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