16/12/2022 - Permalink

Increase in financial support for foster carers

Related topics: Children's services / Finance and budget

From 1 April 2023, the amount Shropshire Council pays foster carers will significantly increase in a bid to encourage more people to come forward and look after some of the county’s most vulnerable children.

Image of child and adult

Image of child and adult

The decision includes more financial support for foster carers, including connected carers who look after children from their extended family. The Council has increased the allowances paid for each child their care for from an initial fee for the first child and then a small allowance for any additional child, to a full fee for each child they care for.

Like most other councils, Shropshire faces significant challenges in recruiting new foster carers, which impacts greatly on its ability to place vulnerable children and young people in local, safe, secure, and permanent foster families. The market is a competitive one, and the council has to ensure that it is in a strong position. We know that children who cant live with their birth parents thrive best in foster care, especially if they are older and adoption is not an option for them.

Not only is this move hoped to attract more foster carers, there is a solid commitment from the council to family-based foster care and it recognises the importance of the skills and expertise of its current carers, and that they need to be rewarded accordingly. That said, the increased payments will be made to all foster carers for their work for Shropshire Council and the children that they care for.

The role of the foster carer is to provide a safe, secure, nurturing and loving home to a child or young person, sometimes this is short term, often it is long term, until a child is an adult.

Foster care in Shropshire focuses on the needs of each child and offers support to whole families. It can be challenging and stressful – a child may have suffered recent abuse and neglect or been caught at the centre of a family crisis. However, fostering can also be enormously rewarding and a lot of fun too. Foster carers touch the lives of each and every child they welcome into their home, whether it’s for a matter of days or a matter of years.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“There are currently over 600 children and young people under the council’s care, and we have a statutory duty to provide them with a safe, caring and stable home. But with the rise in demand and the rising costs, we can appreciate that caring for an additional child or children during a cost-of-living crisis, might be a lot to ask from foster carers.

“By increasing the money we pay, we’re hoping to attract more people to these valuable roles, and enable them to continue to provide homes, love and support for the children and young people who need them.

“Having more foster carers in Shropshire will also give children and young people in care more stability by allowing them to be near their friends and school.

“As for our current foster carers, they really are unsung heroes, and we want to let them know we appreciate the hard work, love and care they put into our children and their future.”

Potential foster carers can find out more information and on how to apply at shropshirefostering.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 8798.