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New offer for foster carers in Plymouth

"It feels like home where I am now" - quote from one of the Foster for Plymouth children, age 13

Foster carers in Plymouth are set to benefit from a new offer, in recognition of the vital role they play in supporting vulnerable children and young people.

Plymouth City Council has reviewed the allowances and support that people fostering through Foster for Plymouth, the Council’s own fostering service, receive based on feedback from foster carers. This includes more training, advice and practical, emotional and financial support.

The new allowances aim to recognise the contribution of foster carers and celebrate all the fantastic work that they do, with increased financial allowances reflecting the rising costs of living and where eligible, covering the cost of Council Tax paid by carers. This would apply to both Plymouth residents and those living outside of the local authority boundary but fostering Plymouth children.

When fostering a child, the carer receives a weekly maintenance payment and a reward payment. All of these payments will be uplifted by at least six per cent, bringing the minimum weekly payment that a foster carer would receive to £333.77.

In addition to weekly payments, foster carers also receive financial support for children’s birthdays, one festival per year (for example, Christmas), and up to two weeks of holiday, all of which will increase in line with the new maintenance payments.

Councillor Jemima Laing, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “This Foster Care Fortnight, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our foster carers who go above and beyond everyday to provide a loving, caring home to children and young people. We hope that the proposed new package of support shows appreciation for all the invaluable work they do and will also encourage more people to consider becoming a foster carer with Foster for Plymouth.

“On average in the UK, a child comes into care in need of a foster family every 15 minutes. In Plymouth alone we have 523 children currently in care, many of whom are living with foster carers.

“Sadly, we do not have enough foster carers in the city which means that sometimes children have to stay in residential care or move away from Plymouth, when they would really benefit from living in a local, family home environment.

“Children in Plymouth desperately need more local foster carers to help them, so if it’s something you’re interested in I would urge you to please get in touch with our Foster for Plymouth team today to find out more.”

The changes to the fostering support package have been made in consultation with current foster carers and the Education and Children’s Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee and will also be discussed by the Cabinet at an upcoming meeting.

To become a foster carer, you must be over the age of 21, have a spare bedroom and have a genuine interest in the welfare and wellbeing of foster children.

There are fewer barriers to becoming a foster carer than many people realise, and it doesn’t matter if:

  • You are single
  • You don’t have children of your own
  • You’re a tenant and/or live in a flat
  • You work, are unemployed or retired
  • You’re living with a disability
  • You have pets.

To find out more about fostering in Plymouth, visit https://fosterforplymouth.co.uk