Eagle's poor fostering vision

17th February 2006 at 00:00
I am delighted that children's minister Maria Eagle shares our concerns over the raw deal for children in care ("We are their parents", TES, February 3). However, I am unable to share her enthusiasm over the Government's proposed system of national fostering allowances.

The allowances will be as much as pound;80 per week below the levels recommended by the Fostering Network, which for many years have been widely regarded as setting the benchmark for fostering expenses.

There is already a shortage of more than 8,000 foster carers in England.

Introducing inadequate allowances will only make recruitment even harder.

As a result, far too many children in foster care will continue to experience instability and disruption, and will struggle to match the educational achievements of their peers.

Robert Tapsfield

Chief executive The Fostering Network 87 Blackfriars Road, London SE1

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