HC Deb 04 August 1976 vol 916 cc857-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the actual or estimated costs of child minding when children are fostered out; and what are the costs when they are taken into care by the appropriate local authorities.

Dr. Owen

Child minding is generally a private arrangement between parents and minders, and no information on costs is collected centrally. I understand that charges made by minders vary widely, from about £2 and £10 per child a week, an average being between £5-£6. The average cost in 1974–75 to a local authority in England and Wales of a child in its care who is boarded out with foster parents was about £7 per week and in residential accommodation about £45 per week. Expenditure on administration and field work and miscellaneous items such as pocket money and holidays cannot be separately identified for children in care and is not included in these figures.