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Half a million pounds invested in Bristol’s foster carers

Half a million pounds invested in Bristol’s foster carers

Bristol’s foster carers who take in some of the city’s most vulnerable children will receive better pay with the council ringfencing half a million pounds of investment.

3 December 2021

The plan to increase payments to foster carers follows on from the launch of Bristol City Council’s Corporate Parenting Strategy which pledges to ‘care for those who care’ and make sure ‘children and young people are nurtured by carers and workers who are well-resourced, valued and supported’. 

A consultation is now live asking for feedback on proposed increases in financial rewards for foster carers and proposed changes to the requirements they need to meet. The consultation closes on Thursday 20 January 2022.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Children's Services, Education and Equalities, said: “We are proposing to invest an extra half a million pounds each year to improve our financial offer to foster carers. We hope that it will not only help recognise how much we value our foster carers, but might also attract people to join us and help improve the lives of many more children in Bristol. 

“We have also recruited additional staff to the fostering service so that we can improve the on-the-ground support we offer carers from day one. We hugely appreciate our foster carers and wish to retain the skills and experience the service already holds within its foster care network. The views of current and prospective carers are extremely important, and we hope to hear from many of you on the proposed changes that we believe should help break some of the barriers to fostering.”

Mark and George, local foster carers in Bristol, said: "The proposed changes to fostering fees will mean the difference we make to the lives of children is recognised further. The changes will also help promote fostering in Bristol and make our local offer more attractive for those considering joining us. We encourage all our fellow foster carers to get involved and give their feedback, to ensure the process is inclusive and reflective of our hard work.”

All foster carers in Bristol currently receive a weekly allowance for the child they are caring for to cover the costs of food, toiletries and all other expenses. In addition to the allowance for the child, some foster carers receive a weekly fee in recognition of their time, skills and experience.

There are currently three levels of weekly fees paid to Bristol foster carers and the amounts paid at each level are the focus of the consultation.

There are no plans to change the weekly allowance for the child, Bristol Intensive Therapeutic Support Programme (BITSP), or Special Task Allowance.

Find more information on our Fostering Fees consultation and take part in the survey at Fostering Fees Consultation website.

You can also find more information on how to become a foster carers on the Bristol City Council website.

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