Council launches new financial package for foster carers in Luton
An "exciting" new offer is being launched for foster carers in our town, according to Luton Borough Council.
In the UK, a child comes into care in need of a foster family every 20 minutes with Luton no exception.
After an extensive review of the existing financial package along with foster carer feedback, the council's fostering service has crafted a new package for foster carers which includes:
> Allowances to cover the foster child / young person’s cost (ranging from £160 to £240 per week);
> Foster carer’s fee (ranging from £130 to £230 per week);
> Additional budget for birthdays (£100 to £150); festivals/occasions (£100 to £400); school uniform (£125 to £250) and holidays;
> A range of additional therapeutic support to assist carers in their fostering roles with children and young people;
> A wide range of training opportunities;
> Membership of the Fostering Network.
Foster carers in Luton already have access to benefits including MOT discounts, Arriva travel club, annual rail ticket concessions and reduced fees on Active Luton membership. They also have access to counselling and personal support.
Debra Heather along with her husband Sean has been fostering with Luton Borough Council for over a decade and is the head of Luton Foster Carers Association.
Mrs Heather said: “At first it can be a struggle, but you know you’re making progress when you realise your cuddles to give reassurance and to show you care have turned into cuddles that they have initiated themselves for affection.
“I am reminded of many proud moments of seeing sad faces turn into big cheeky smiles, especially after learning to ride a bike, swim the width of a swimming pool or receiving an award at school.
"Then there were magical moments, of watching our two foster boys huddle together with our son whispering and giggling, or even squabbling, we knew we didn’t just have one son we had three.
"That’s why we care.”
Councillor Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder for children and families, added : “Many of us will need help from others at some time in our lives and the past year has shown us this more than ever before. Luton has children and young people in care who have reached that point in their lives and need help from you.
We urgently need more of you to foster for Luton. I would encourage you to take the next step, find out more about our exciting Luton ‘offer’ to foster carers and how you can make a real difference to a child or young person’s life.”
To find out about forthcoming events, visit www.luton.gov.uk/fostering.