The Adequacy of Foster Care Allowances
First published in 1997, this timely examination of allowances paid to foster carers demonstrates clear evidence that the nature of foster care is changing. The degree of difficulty in caring for the average child is greater than ever before making the tasks asked of carers more demanding and skilful. The fostering allowances were subject to five tests of adequacy. Evidence showed that allowances have maintained their value over time and were adequate to meet the normal costs of child rearing but not the extra or indirect costs of fostering. Moreover, a unique cross national study of payments uncovered that Britain has lower levels of allowance than more than half the 15 countries examined. This book contributes to the debate on the measurement of living standards. It uses budget standard methodology to estimate the cost of a child living a modest but adequate lifestyle in the 1990s.
1. The Dynamics of Foster Care Allowances. 2. The Direct Costs of a Child. 3. The Extra Costs of a Foster Child. 4. The Indirect Costs of Fostering. 5. The Comparative Cost of a Foster Child: a Survey of Fifteen Countries. 6. Conclusion.
’The work of the Family Budget Unit on which this book is based is one crucial input into the ongoing process of defining a socially acceptable poverty test.’ David Piachaud, Professor of Social Policy, The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK ’...a fascinating and meticulous analysis of current costs and allowances...Nina Oldfield’s timely analysis argues convincingly that foster care allowances are inadequate. It deserves to be influential.’ Foster Care ’...deserves to be very widely read...a fascinating and painstakingly thorough analysis...it has come at just the right time.’ European Journal of Social Work ’...Nina Oldfield has written a fascinating book drawing on an enormous body of research from the UK and overseas. Her study is probably most relevant to those with budget responsibilities, but it is written in an accessible style and deserves a much wider audience.’ Adoption and Fostering ’...its message is far wider than the adequacy ( or inadequacy ) of foster care payments...the qualitative data gives good insight into the nature of the foster care task...this book is of relevance to foster parents and agencies who will need to arm for the fight.’ New Zealand Association of Social Workers