To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that fostering services are paying (a) at or (b) above the national minimum allowance level to foster carers.
The National Minimum Standards for fostering services are clear that every foster parent should receive an allowance that covers the full cost of caring for a child. Whilst local authorities determine the allowance paid to foster parents in their area, the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) serves as a baseline to the minimum amount that foster parents can expect to receive per week to cover the cost of a child living in their home.
The NMA rates for 2020-21 were published on 6 February. We have notified Directors of Children’s Services and reiterated that whilst it is not mandatory in regulations, we expect all fostering services to pay at least this amount.