Foster Care: North West

Department for Education written question – answered at on 27 March 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Independent, St Helens North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the number of foster care placements in (a) St Helens North constituency and (b) the North West.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department is investing over £36 million this parliament to deliver a fostering recruitment and retention programme, so that foster care is available for more children who need it. This will boost approvals of foster carers, as well as aiding the retention of foster carers already in place.

St Helens North is participating in this programme, working in a regional cluster group, ‘Foster4’, which is led by Warrington.

Greater financial support for foster carers will help improve the experiences of all children in care. For the second year running, the department is increasing the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) above the rate of inflation. For 2024/2025, the NMA will increase by 6.88%. This is on top of a 12.43% NMA increase in 2023/24.

In addition, the department estimates that changes to tax and benefit allowances will give the average foster carer an additional £450 per year as well as simplifying the process for self-assessment returns for most foster carers.

The department will also build on its investment since 2014 of over £8 million to advance the work of the Mockingbird programme, an innovative model of peer support for foster parents and the children in their care where children benefit from an extended family environment.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.