Foster carers are no different from the rest of us. The need to manage money properly is an important skill for everyone: it is a key life skill. ‘Staying Put’ has meant that foster children should have the option to stay with their foster families for longer. This means that there is extra time available to help support them to learn to manage money.
The Fostering Network, the leading charity, has recently welcomed the publication of a new report. It’s called ‘Care to talk about Money’. The report itself was produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People (APPG). The report fully recognises the key role to be played by foster parents in helping young people with money management. The charity is keen to recommend that foster parents are themselves given training and support in financial matters. This is so they can best support the young people in their care. The Fostering Network stated:
“In our written and oral evidence to the APPG’s inquiry into children in care and financial education we focused on the issues faced by foster carers in supporting young people to open up a bank account. Many of these barriers, such as parental responsibility residing with the local authority rather than the foster carer, young people not necessarily holding their original birth certificate or having a passport, can be overcome with banks having a better understanding of the care system and foster care. Therefore we welcome the report’s recommendation that banks should have clear policies in place to ensure children in care can get access to bank accounts and that these policies should be applied consistently with clear signposting for foster carers.”
The report goes on to explore all the measures which are in available to support foster children in and care leavers in relation to their financial education. It makes a series of recommendations for improvements to make sure that all young people possess the necessary skills to manage their finances. As the charity states:
“We hope these recommendations will be supported and enacted across Government; and local authorities, despite the APPG not having direct jurisdiction over them, will actively implement the relevant recommendations to address the current disadvantage being experienced by children in care around financial education compared to their peers who are living with their families.”
Foster care has to be about enabling children to deal with all aspects of life. And this is especially the case as they move into adulthood.
There is a compelling argument to be made that money management should be introduced into the school curriculum. It would greatly help all parents including foster carers. It is paradoxical that children are taught a whole range of subjects in school – geography, biology – it’s a long list, but the area that that touches upon all our lives and impacts most throughout those lives is money. It’s a fact millions of parents, as well as young people, feel completely under-prepared when it comes to dealing with money. Slightly over eight in ten parents think it is their responsibility to teach their children about money, but one in six reports not feeling confident about doing it. This is reason enough for formally introducing the subject into the curriculum. And it is a natural fit. Justin Urquhart Stewart – co-founder of 7IM – thinks that handling money can have the effect of boosting a child’s performance at school academically: he says – “Teaching a child how to count money not only boosts their maths skills but really teaches them about money concepts, budgeting and the value of money.”
More ideas about this aspect of foster care and money management can be found by visiting: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/managing-money/achieving-financial-harmony/teaching-your-teen-money-management
Providing foster care is a unique, amazing and rewarding journey. If you decide to foster with Rainbow, you’ll be joining an independent fostering agency rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. We’ll provide you with a generous financial allowance, ongoing support around the clock and unrivalled training opportunities. Rainbow has been supporting carers to provide loving and stable homes for over 21 years. We have foster carers working in London, Birmingham, Manchester & Hampshire. But we don’t aim to be the biggest – hopefully, one of the best!
With our help, you will change the life of a vulnerable child. And that can start today. Simply call 0330 311 2845 for a friendly chat about your new life as a foster carer.
We work hard to provide as much information about fostering as possible. There’s plenty on our website which includes news, views and blogs. You can read about some of the experiences of our foster carers in ‘fostering files’ – part of our blog section. Useful pages for people considering fostering include – http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/about/