Fees rise to help foster carers with the cost of living
STOCKPORT Council has announced that foster carer allowances and fees will be uplifted to support foster carers during the cost of living crisis.
The increase was announced on Thursday, January 26 at an event held for Stockport foster carers and will see the allowance and fees paid to foster carers go up by 8% on the 1st April 2023.
In addition to the 8% uplift for 23/24 and the one-off payment of £250 previously provided, foster carers will receive a 100% increase in the amount paid for the refer a friend scheme from £500 to £1,000.
Stockport Council has always ensured fostering allowances have been at least 5% above the national government recommendation and this 8% increase will enhance that offer.
Geoff Durbin, vice chair of Stockport Foster Carers
Association said: “The Stockport Foster Carers Association has been working with Stockport’s fostering service for many months on this issue and we appreciate our request for an inflationary increase was a hard ask in view of the huge pressures on Council budgets.
“So, an 8% increase in the current circumstances is fantastic result and is very much appreciated by us all.”
“In addition to representing carers with regard to remuneration, we work co-productively on a range of issues, such as ensuring the foster carer’s voice is heard when any policy is revised or amended.
“The fee uplift is yet another example of the benefits of a fostering service and fostering association working together in close partnership, and ultimately of course it helps towards ensuring that foster carers are financially able to care for the needs of some of Stockport’s most vulnerable children, who always remain our prime concern when these matters are considered.”
Louise, Mockingbird foster carer said: “No one goes into fostering for money, however the cost of living was impacting carers ability to pay for household bills and ultimately giving the children everything they could without subsidising themselves.
“We are delighted that the council has recognised that Stockport children need to be supported financially when they cannot, for whatever reason, live with their birth family, and personally as a carer I feel extremely valued that my fee for being a carer is being increased.”
“I was concerned that fostering would become the preserve of those who had additional incomes, which is not right, our local children need foster carers from across every social and economic status, employed, self employed, retired, on benefits, single, couples and big families. I really hope that more local people will come forward to foster now.”
“The 8% uplift has left me feeling truly valued – the cost of living crisis has been like a black cloud raining down, but this feels like the sun has started to come out again!”
Councillor Wendy Meikle, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, explained:” I’m proud that we can make these increase in payments to help foster carers in light of the cost of living crisis and that Stockport Council is committed to reviewing our payments to our foster carers annually.
“We highly value our foster carers and are delighted to being able to support them by increasing all payment allowances and fees by 8% so we can help support the vital work they do.”
Foster carers in Stockport care for a local child or young person, so they can continue to live in Stockport, close to their friends and school and receive extensive local training and support to help them on their fostering journey and become part of Stockport’s fostering community.
For more information on becoming a foster carer for Stockport Council call 0161 474 3400 or visit the website www.stockport.gov.uk/fostering or attend one of the regular fostering information sessions.
To find out dates of the information sessions visit: https://www.stockport.gov.uk/events?tag=Fostering