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State of the Nation's Foster Care 2016 report

The key findings were:

  • Only 42% of foster carers felt their allowance covered the full cost of looking after fostered children. This means that more than half of all foster carers are having to dip into their own pockets to cover the cost of looking after the child
  • Only a quarter of foster carers described respite support as excellent or good
  • 31% of foster carers reported that they were rarely or never given all of the information about a fostered child prior to placement
  • Almost a third of foster carers had been referred children from outside their defined approval range
  • Just under half of foster carers did not have an agreed training plan for the next year
  • A third of foster carers felt that children’s social workers did not treat them as an equal member of the team

The top three things that foster carers would choose to change to help them improve the lives of the young they care for were:

1. Improving communication and support from their fostering service;

2. being treated more as a professional; and

3. better financial support.

Download the key findings