As previously stated, a number of changes have been implemented as of 1st April 2013. These concern legal aid and also the ‘bedroom tax’, amongst other things.

The new under occupancy tax, commonly known as the ‘bedroom tax’, reduces housing benefit by up to 25% for tenants that have spare bedrooms in their home. There were concerns that Foster carers with a spare bedroom would see their housing benefit reduced, which may be seen as being unfair.

However, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced that approved foster carers would not be affected by the changes in that they would still be allowed to receive the same level of housing benefit if they had an additional room. He states that anyone who had fostered a child, or been approved as a foster carer in the last 12 months, would be able to retain a spare bedroom whether or not a child is currently placed with them.

The chief executive of the Fostering Network, Robert Tapsfield stated: “This is fantastic news. This change of policy means that foster carers can sleep easy knowing that they will not be punished for providing homes for some of the UK’s most vulnerable children.”

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