Foster families get 10% rate increase

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Foster families get 10% rate increase

Rates paid to foster families are going up 10 per cent this month — a signal of "respect," according to a longtime caregiver.

Wendy Galpin, who attended Friday's announcement by the provincial government, has cared for upwards of 60 foster children at her home in Sussex over the past 33 years. The increase doesn't cover all the incurred costs, but it's still "good news," she said.

"It's finally time to recognize we do a service for the community," Galpin said.

Foster families are given funding from the province to offset the higher expenses of caring for another child. The Department of Social Development also provides funding to buy items such as school supplies, clothing as well as a Christmas allowance.

Rates range from $874.44 to $1,006.11 a month, depending on the age of the child, according to the department. The higher rates are retroactive to April 1.

The provincial government website says that about 1,000 children and young people up to age 19 are in foster care at any given time in the province.

Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman praised foster families for their hard work and the example they set.

"You provide them with security, stability, structure and guidance, and I would even say love and caring," he told a room of foster caregivers in Fredericton.

Raymond Englehart, president of the New Brunswick Foster Families Association, said the additional money means fostering will continue in the province.

"This is something that is needed," Englehart said.

"It's going to ensure that we continue fostering and helping the children and youth in care."