The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – Janet Finch Saunders AM – has this week (21 April) urged the Welsh Government to do more to support Welsh foster carers who may be struggling with their finances as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Many foster carers report increasing financial insecurity as a result of the current coronavirus outbreak. Leading fostering organisations have now called for foster carers, who are unable to foster because of COVID-19 restrictions, to be paid a retainer. Charities also say that foster families are being put under increasing pressure as respite sessions are cancelled, in line with the advice to stay at home.
The Shadow Minister has now said that she believes extra financial support should be provided to meet the unexpected additional costs of activities and materials, including reimbursing the costs of purchased technology that has replaced face to face contact with a child’s birth family.
Commenting on the situation, Janet said:
“We must all recognise the demanding but vital role that our exceptional foster carers play in providing a stable and loving home for many vulnerable Welsh children.
“In order to facilitate a better future for our looked-after children, we must first better assist our selfless foster carers through this unprecedented period of challenge.
“I call on the Welsh Government to urgently investigate what more they can do to better support those Welsh foster carers who may be struggling with their finances as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Maintaining avenues of communication with the child’s birth family is important, and so I ask that the Welsh Government also investigate ways to reimburse the unexpected additional costs that may arise from having to provide new channels of communication.