Council tax scheme for foster carers could save Council millions

The Sheffield Liberal Democrats proposed a scheme in their alternative council budget, which would support Sheffield’s foster carers, help to address the foster carer shortage by encouraging more people to sign up to become foster families and could potentially save the council millions in the long term.

The scheme is similar to one piloted in Liverpool. Foster carers paid directly by the council would be reimbursed their Council Tax bill, worth about £1,600 for a band D property.

Sheffield City Council currently has around 250 in-house foster care placements. The Council also uses over 100 Independent Foster Placements, which are paid for through an agency. These placements cost on average £27K more than an in-house foster carer, which are paid directly by the Council.

If the Council recruited enough in-house foster carers and no longer needed to use Independent Foster Carers, this would save the Council £2.7million.

 Steve Ayris said “Foster carers do an amazing service, dedicating themselves to caring for some of our cities most vulnerable and challenging children. This policy would allow us to give back a bit to those extraordinary people.

“It also has the potential to help address the shortage of foster carers and in the long run, could save Sheffield City Council millions, which could then be spent on other vital services.”

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