To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether legislation is in place to prevent local authorities from not paying the minimum foster care allowance to foster carers.
21 September 2021
There is no legislation in place setting a minimum foster allowance to be paid for foster carers. However, the Fostering National Minimum Standards are issued by the Secretary of State under the Care Standards Act 2000 and state at standard 28 ‘Each foster carer receives at least the national minimum allowance for the child, plus any necessary agreed expenses for the care, education, and reasonable leisure interests of the child, including insurance, holidays, birthdays, school trips, religious festivals etc, which cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with her/him.’
Fostering agencies are regulated by Ofsted under the Care Standards Act and under section 23 of the Care Standards Act 2000, the National Minimum Standards are applicable to them. Local authorities are inspected by Ofsted and under section 49 of the Care Standards Act, the National Minimum Standards apply to them also.
The department publishes a minimum allowance annually, which sets out the weekly amount a foster carer can expect to receive to cover such costs: https://www.gov.uk/support-for-foster-parents/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering.