National focus on foster care could save £150m

A change in the national approach to foster care could end up saving local councils as much £150 million, a new study suggests.

Foster placements funded by local councils are approximately £17,000 a year cheaper than those provided by fostering agencies, according to a report from public sector consultancy Impower. For that reason, researchers recommended an increase in the number of council foster placements.

Currently, the national average of foster cases which use local council placements is 67 per cent. The study proposed an increase to 85 per cent.

The report suggested that such a move would result in a £150 million saving for local authorities and would “improve life chances” for as many as 9,000 children.

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