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.