Thurrock Council has increased allowance payments and improved the support available to foster carers, as the council seeks more foster carers to open their hearts and homes to support vulnerable young people.
Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Housing, said: "Our foster carers are truly remarkable people providing vulnerable young people with a safe and loving family environment which allows them to grow, develop and thrive.
"The enhanced offer to our foster cares means we can make sure that they have the support they need to provide for the young people in their care and this also reflects increases in the cost of living.
"The love and care they provide is beyond valuation, but we wanted to make sure that we are doing all we can to enable them to meet the needs of the children in foster care."
An experienced Thurrock foster carer, looking after two children aged 11 to 15 years-old will receive over £50,000 a year in fostering payments.
On top of this, foster carers may be eligible for a 100% discount on council tax. Foster carers also benefit from – in this example – an Inland Revenue tax exemption of up to £64,940 per household on their fostering income. In this example, you would not pay any income tax on your fostering income.
Support is also available to all Thurrock foster carers. This includes support from experienced social workers, from our wonderful community of foster carers, and out-of-hours support to ensure help is never far away.
Jenny, who is an experienced Thurrock Foster carer, said: "I'm so pleased to see Thurrock Council's continued support to us and the children we care for.
"With the cost of living increasing, it is great that we are seeing an allowance increase. This will make a huge difference. We also get a Christmas and birthday payment as well to help towards a gift.
"I know as a family we can't wait for the festive season to start. My young person has never had a full Christmas experience, which so many children take for granted. I know that this extra money will go a long way to make this Christmas one to remember for them, so it's a huge thank you from me."
The rate of the weekly care allowance depends on the age and level of care need of the child being looked after. More information on those payments can be found at thurrock.gov.uk/foster-carer-pay.
A new video promoting the benefits of foster care has recently been produced by over 80 local authorities, including Thurrock Council. 'Any of Us' shows how important and rewarding becoming a foster carer can be. It tells the story of 3 people who have the caring instincts that mean they would make excellent foster care – go to YouTube: Foster for Thurrock Council – 'All of Us'.