VICTORIA - Foster families in British Columbia will get a monthly pay raise of hundreds of dollars starting April 1.
Mitzi Dean, the child and family development minister, says families fostering kids 11 and under will see their payments increase by $450 a month to $1,465 per child, while caregivers for those 12 to 19 will see a $531 monthly increase to $1,655 per child.
Dean says rates were frozen for nearly a decade under the previous government, and the latest increase is the second implemented since the New Democrats came to power in 2017.
As MCFD Minister, I appreciate all that foster families & caregivers do to support children and youth, and so does our gov’t. Which is why we’re increasing care-provider rates, by up to 47%, to catch up on real costs and so they can continue to open their 💕 and homes #BCBudget pic.twitter.com/kmtM16nEt2— Mitzi Dean (@MitziDeanBC) March 1, 2023
The minister says the increased funding will fill a "critical need" for those families hit by inflation who need to provide children with food, clothing and other essentials.
Dean says funding is also increasing for other caregivers, including those with high- and special-needs children, along with so-called kinship families who take children under their care from family members.
Katie Robertson, executive director of the Parent Support Services Society of B.C., says she was raised in a kinship care situation herself and the increased funding will give kids security and stability, while helping keep families intact.