Foster Care: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Fostering Network's proposal for an additional payment of £50 a week to foster carers to offset the extra expenses of food, education equipment and utility bills during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought unprecedented challenges to some foster families. That is why we launched a new FosterlinePlus service in June, which provides free access to a range of specialist one-to-one support and advice services for foster families experiencing difficulties.

The government issued over £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including within children’s social care. Fostering services have been working proactively to ensure that foster families remain together, and to maximise existing capacity, by providing additional resources and funding to families locally, where necessary. The department delegates the responsibility of allocating allowance according to local fostering services.

I remain committed to taking the necessary action to ensure that foster parents receive the respect and support that they need and deserve. I want to drive forward change to empower foster carers and to ensure that they can continue with their invaluable role in protecting our most vulnerable children.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance for fostering services can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care.

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