Calderdale ‘parents’ could get more to look after children in care

AN EXTRA £175,000 could be spent on bringing into line the council’s child care allowances system.

Until now, there have been three different payment bands, worth up to £168 a week, for adoptive parents, foster parents and guardians.

By making all payments the same, Calderdale Council will ensure allowances are in line with legislation and that they improve the stability and permanency of placements.

“The proposed increase will lead to increased expenditure on special guardianship, residence order and adoption allowances, and there will be a reduction in fostering payments,” according to head of children’s social care, Pixley Clarke.

The cabinet has been asked to approve the changes when it meets on Monday.

Figures show that the council spends nearly £1.5 million on these child care allowances, which help to off-set the expense of looking after 360 children and young people.

Under the proposed changes, there will be £112.70 a week for children under the age of four rising to £168 for those aged 16 and over.

“Currently foster carers who provide or may wish to provide legal permanence to a child through a residence order, special guardianship order or adoption may be financially disadvantaged by the lower allowances available.

“This is a disincentive to carers and may result in the best outcome for the child not being secured,” said Ms Clarke in a report to councillors.