[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 05:47 GMT 06:47 UK
NI foster care 'needs extra 28m'
Children at play - generic
Fostering Network said the study showed a shortfall
The government is being urged to invest more than 28m in foster care in Northern Ireland.

It follows a report which said this figure was needed to bring quality to the sector which has a shortfall of at least 350 carers in NI.

The Fostering Network and BAAF are to launch their Cost of Foster Care report at Stormont.

The network's Robert Tapsfield said: "We have robust calculation of what providing foster care costs."

He added: "It demonstrates that there is a massive shortfall."

The report assesses the spending required to give children in public care the same opportunities "to have a successful future as other children".

It draws on the experiences of an expert working group from health boards, trusts, independent fostering agencies and local authorities.

The report makes the case for planned long-term investment in the children who are at risk of becoming the parents of tomorrow's poorest children instead of happy, economically active citizens
Felicity Collier
BAAF

The Fostering Network said the study showed a shortfall of at least 350 foster carers across Northern Ireland.

This contributed "to the lack of choice for children, placement disruption and further instability", it said.

"This is a call to the Northern Ireland government to invest a further 28.5m in foster care services each year," said Mr Tapsfield.

"We should ensure that the outcomes for children in foster care are the same as those we want for our own children."

Felicity Collier, chief executive of BAAF, said there was "an overwhelming need to do better for children in public care".

"It is simply not good enough that there is no choice of foster carer for so many children, and that foster carers are not paid a living wage throughout the year so that they can be available when needed.

"The report makes the case for planned long-term investment in the children who are at risk of becoming the parents of tomorrow's poorest children instead of happy, economically active citizens."




SEE ALSO:
Pay boost call for foster parents
01 Jun 04 |  Scotland
Foster children 'shunted about'
11 Apr 03 |  Scotland
Adoption still in decline
18 Mar 03 |  Scotland
Parents 'influence' exam success
17 Oct 02 |  Scotland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific