Foster carers being penalised for fostering

The Bedroom Tax will be leaving thousands of foster families with their benefits cut and trust in the Government broken, a spokesperson from UK charity, The Fostering Network, said.

“Foster carers are dangerously exposed to the potential of being penalised for fostering.”

The Fostering Network provides information about fostering, gives support to members and campaigns to improve foster care. However, the Bedroom Tax is putting strain on the charity and its work. Foster carers face the problem of their foster children not being counted as part of the household, for benefit purposes, leaving these families with ‘spare’ bedrooms.

A housing fund of £5 million has been made available for local authorities, to support foster carers across the UK. However, The Fostering Network’s spokesperson expressed how even this will not help:

“Unfortunately this money is not ring fenced and can be used for other areas of housing. Therefore, some foster carers are being told that they must use their fostering allowance to cover any shortfall. This is meant to be spent solely on the child’s day to day needs, not their housing costs.”

The spokesperson for The Fostering Network appeared extremely concerned and upset about the upcoming Bedroom Tax policy. This urged the charity worker to question foster care’s uncertain future:

“These changes are causing some foster carers considerable anxiety and to wonder if they will be able to continue to foster.”

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5 thoughts on “Foster carers being penalised for fostering

  1. As a foster carer myself I find this ‘bedroom tax’ a very ill thought concept by our government. My local authority required me to have a ‘spare room’ before I could even be considered for fostering. Now that very same authority wants to penalise me for having a ‘spare room’, even though it is not spare as there is a child in it!
    To me this makes no sense and is in fact very unjust. I also hate the term that the government has used to describe foster children in this HB reform ‘a foster child is not part of the family and therefore cannot be considered for benefit purposes’, how simply disgusting. So in other words foster children are non-people in the governments eyes.
    During my foster care training Social Services were very keen for all foster carers to treat the children in their charge ‘as if they were a member of your own family’, seems that the government and Social Services have very
    different views on how you should treat your foster child!
    This reform is causing uproar across the country and I have no doubt that the opposition to it will esculate considerably over the next month or so.
    I do believe that nothing gets changed unless people are proactive, so do sign petitions and take part in legal peaceful protests.

    • Totally agree with every word. I too am a foster carer and have wrote a stern letter to edward timpson mp but as usual this fell on deaf ears as did not get a reply. I agree we should all start petitions but where to begin and how to get the petitions out there is the question. What we need is a focus point and a spokesperson and get the ball rolling somehow and somewhere because all i am hearing at the moment from everyone I speak to is ANGER but no reaction to that. I suppose this country will do what it always does and just rolls over and pays up
      Julie

  2. Emma I find your comments of particular interest and I was wondering whether it it would be possible to have your surname as we would love to feature your comments in our final report of the Bedroom Tax investigation. Iain Duncan Smith has recently announced that foster carers will no longer be penalised, what do you think of his review? how does this make you feel. If you would prefer to discuss this privately my email is enyaqj@btinternet.com.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Enya Quin-Jarvis (Editor of the investigation)

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