Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Realistic remuneration needed for Foster Parents

8 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has called for a realistic remuneration package to support Foster Carers.

Ms Gildernew said:

"One of the greatest acts of kindness that a couple can do is to foster children. To bring children who are vulnerable and hurt into their home, to be raised with all the benefits of an extended family is a precious gift. Those already involved can tell you better than I can of the personal benefits. One thing that I will say however is that many of these foster parents are not being remunerated properly.

"Foster care attracts people who are giving of their time and energy, people who don't see money as a number one priority but have time and love to give. Fostering is not just beneficial for children and young people who have been bereft of their own families for whatever reason who benefit from being in a family setting, it also costs the state less than any other form of care.

"Unfortunately many foster parents find themselves spending more money on the children they are fostering than they receive from the state. This is clearly not fair to the foster parents.

"The state is not looking after those who care for the most vulnerable people in our society. The funding that foster parents receive needs to be reviewed to reflect the time, energy and love they expend; and subsequently increased. This can help to increase the number of families who are willing to give these children a home for either short or long periods of time." ENDS

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