Foster carers in Nottingham will get an increase in their allowances as part of a national push to encourage more people to sign up.
Nottingham City Council is increasing fostering allowances by 12.43 per cent in line with new Government recommendations in a bid to make the role more attractive.
The authority says in the last five years the number of children in its care has increased while at the same time the number of in-house foster carers it has available has reduced.
The planned change will mean an increase of between £17 and £30 in allowances per week per child, depending on the age of the children they foster and their location, resulting in foster carers receiving new totals of between £154 and £270 per week per child.
Reports on the issue say if the council did not increase its allowances, it would “result in a reduction of people fostering with Nottingham city which would detrimentally impact children and have a negative impact on the budget of the council”.
City council documents said: “Children who cannot safely be provided care by their own families need the opportunity to live in nurturing homes with highly skilled and well supported carers, foster homes provide children with the chance to live within a family environment which will best prepare them for future life.
“There is an imperative to increase the number of ‘in-house’ foster carers, that is carers who are assessed, approved, and supervised by Nottingham City Council’s fostering service.”
The alternative to living with foster carers supported by the local authority is either an an independent fostering agency or living in a residential children’s home.
But both options are significantly more costly than in house foster carers.
In February 2023 the Department of Education sent a letter to all local authorities and fostering agencies indicating a 12.43 per cent rise in the national minimum allowances for foster carers.
The letter stated that the Government expects “all foster parents to receive at least the weekly National Minimum Allowance (NMA), in addition to any agreed expenses to cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with them”.