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Free school meals for children in care

(101 Posts)
scarlettsmummy2 Sat 01-Sep-12 21:24:11

Hi, just a quick question- are children in foster care eligible for free school meals? My foster son has been getting them for the last two years but we have just been told this is stopping unless we have an income of less than 16k. We get paid less than that as carers however also have our own income too. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Mrbojangles1 Sun 02-Sep-12 09:34:50

I never heard of a child in care getting free school meals

you will have to pay this is supposed to come from there allowance and tbh i wouldnt want my foster children on free school meals my own children arent

For me i like to offer the children somthing diffrent to their old life which means a life away form the social I really hate free school meals and some schools really mark the chikdren out who have them

Hope this is helpful

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Sun 02-Sep-12 09:39:58

My understanding is the same as MrBojangles.

LaurieBlueBell Sun 02-Sep-12 13:03:00

Mine don't and I also agree with MrBojangles.

I do get the school to pay for my foster DCs residential and day trips. The schools get £525 per term per child. Mine also pay for my foster DCs ballet and karate classes and all their equipment.

It is done very discreetly. The only people that know are the headteacher and the finance officer.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 20:36:44

Thanks for the responses. I am just a bit annoyed as he has had them for the last two years and this has come out of the blue. The fostering allowance is well below the tax credit threshold and anyone claiming those would get free school meals, not sure why it should be different for us.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 02-Sep-12 20:43:54

No child we've fostered has ever had them - it says in the allowances booklet that they are not entitled and it's to come out of fostering allowance.

The whole amount is less than tax credit threshold but the child component is supposed to be enough to cover all food etc.

So if you were fostering and it was your only income as a single person it would be pretty tough financially.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 21:33:29

That's exactly it- it would be a nightmare if it was your only income and I think the councils are being a bit unfair. Fostering is not really doable as a career on only a fostering salary and I think that is why there is such a struggle to get carers. We can afford the meals ourselves but that's not the point.

ToadsPornFrogsPawn Sun 02-Sep-12 21:40:00

Isn't your fostering allowance way more than your fostering costs?

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 21:42:41

I don't know really! We just put all our money into one pot and there isn't anything left over at the end of the month! We certainly could not afford to live on just the fostering payment and allowance.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 21:46:13

Our foster son gets £15 a week pocket money, he eats as much as my husband, he is growing like a leek and we go on lots of days out etc. i bought him a full new uniform and new school shoes last week so he certainly isn't neglected! I also pay for him to go on holiday and residential camps, summer schemes etc out of my own salary as the foster payment wouldn't cover it all.

NinePeedles Sun 02-Sep-12 22:35:28

I am not sure why you think you should receive the benefit of free school meals when you are receiving an allowance for your foster son.
Surely a midday meal is a basic requirement? Payable from the allowance you receive to cover the costs of caring for him?
Are your own children receiving free school meals? If not then why should their foster brother be any different?

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 22:58:41

If he wasn't my foster son but my birth child and my income was the same as what i get paid to foster he would get free meals as we would be entitled to tax credits. He is not my child, I am his carer. He sees his birth parents regularly, can phone them whenever he wants and he has no desire for me to be his mum anymore than he would his social worker or teacher.

NinePeedles Sun 02-Sep-12 23:35:15

Exactly. He is your foster son. You are receiving fostering allowance for him to live with your family. You say yourself you can afford the meals. Yet you seem to begrudge having to pay for them.
Wether he has contact with his birth family is irrelevant. At the moment he is part of your family, surely?

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 23:43:45

But he is not my child! I am his carer, so why should I be in a worse position financially than if he was my child?

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 23:46:44

I need my own salary to pay for my own birth children, so in my opinion it is irrelevant.

NinePeedles Sun 02-Sep-12 23:47:11

How are you in a worse position? You get fostering allowance. What is that for if not to cover the cost of something basic like a midday meal?

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 02-Sep-12 23:51:42

I am in a worse position because if I got paid 9k and worked as a cleaner he would get free meals. But because I get paid that and I am a foster carer he doesn't.

pinkyp Sun 02-Sep-12 23:53:19

Are you sure fostering if really for you? You seem angry and have pointed out several times he's not my son, I have money to pay but why should I? I need my money for my birth children, I thought when u fostered someone you treat them like you would your own?

pinkyp Sun 02-Sep-12 23:54:52

But your not a cleaner? So why compare? hmm

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 03-Sep-12 00:00:31

Do you expect social workers and teachers to subsidise the children in their care? My foster son has been with us three years and will be with us for at least three more. He is treated the same as my own in every way and the reason I work is to fund all three to have a nice lifestyle. However, I don't think foster carers should be treated differently simply because they are foster carers. They should be seen as the same as other caring professions such as nurses, social workers and care assistants. As I said, my foster son has a birth family and siblings who he sees often and who he most likely will return to when he leaves the care system.

mellen Mon 03-Sep-12 00:02:24

"But he is not my child! I am his carer, so why should I be in a worse position financially than if he was my child?"

You arent. If he was your own child you would not be getting a fostering allowance. Your comment about the 9k makes it sound like you think that the allowance for a foster child should be enough for a family to live on.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 03-Sep-12 00:03:01

I am comparing myself to a cleaner as the allowance/ pay is the same yet their child would get free meals but a foster child would not. The councils tell foster carers their allowance should be enough for the carer not to work elsewhere but yet also then say it is not enough for a cleaner to live on.

pinkyp Mon 03-Sep-12 00:03:33

I agree with ur last statement, If u only earn 9k from foster caring u should def get free meals for all your children though not just foster son.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 03-Sep-12 00:04:04

Most councils expect a carer not to work.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 03-Sep-12 00:05:38

Thank you, that is my point.

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