Foster Care: Barnet

Department for Education written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is taking steps to help increase the number of foster care placements in the London Borough of Barnet.

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 the number of foster carers recruited, as well as taking steps to retain the foster carers that we have.

Greater financial support for foster carers will help to improve the experience of all children in care. For the second year running, the department is uplifting the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) above the rate of inflation. For the 2024/2025 financial year, 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.

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