Foster Care

It is disappointing that the postcode lottery around foster family support continues to persist. Which council you live in could result in a difference in earnings of £6,346 a year. The SNP pledged to introduce a national minimum wage allowance for foster families in 2016 but six years later we are no closer to seeing this.

In anticipation of a national minimum allowance, many councils froze their own allowances, but the SNP’s failure to follow through on their promise means that some carers haven’t seen their allowance go up in a decade.

Scotland’s foster carers have been let down, and a change is needed. The Scottish Conservatives would roll out the Mockingbird Programme across Scotland to build supportive communities around foster families. We would also implement a register of foster carers to further professionalise the sector.

We also recognise that more needs to be done for carers to recognise their hard work. The Scottish Conservatives would improve the Carers Allowance by introducing a taper rate so that carers do not lose 100 per cent of their allowance if they earn £1 over the £132 per week limit on earnings. We would also extend payments of Carers Allowance to up to six months after bereavement and allow carers in full time education to continue to receive Carers Allowance.

Ultimately, the SNP have had 15 years to build a system which adequately supports foster children and carers and it is disappointing that they have failed to do so.