Foster carers in Glasgow are demanding an increase in the allowance they are paid for looking after children.

A union representing some carers said the rate has been frozen for almost ten years, which equates to a cut of 20%.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said that the council, when it sets its next budget, needs to find cash to pay foster carers more in the Child Allowance.

It said the freeze has left foster carers subsiding the cost of care, which it says, for many is not possible with wages for many people also suffering a freeze in recent years.

The union said: “After inflation, the freeze equates to a 23.12% cut in the foster child allowance, leaving many foster carers struggling to subsidise costs of care themselves. In many cases this is not possible as pay has also been frozen for 13 years, resulting in a 30% real pay cut.”

It said it has led to a “crisis” in foster care in the city.

Kenny Millard, chair, Foster Care Workers’ Branch (IWGB), said: “For a decade now Glasgow City Council has failed this city’s most vulnerable children and now dedicated foster carers are being driven either into poverty or out of service all together because they simply cannot afford to continue subsidising that failure.

“An investment in Glasgow’s children is an investment in its future.

“By ending the freeze Glasgow City Council can help tackle the crisis in foster care, lessen pressure on public services, boost the local economy and give every child in Glasgow the start they deserve here, where they belong.”

Jacqueline McShane, a Glasgow-based foster care worker currently caring for three children under five, said: “Being a foster carer is not the same as being a parent.

“You take in the most vulnerable children in our society with complex support needs that require specialist, round-the-clock care.

“But the work we do is so undervalued and we have been pushed to breaking point.”

another foster carer, Elaine, fosters two children and said she is sheltered from the worst of the financial impact as she earns the higher fees having transferred from a private agency, which she said in itself is unfair.

She said: “There is no pension, no sick pay, no rights. Carers are leaving because of burnout.

“It is all down to money, underfunding from the council.”

Glasgow City Council said it pays a higher rate than the average Scotland and disputed the union figures stating they are not accurate.

A spokeswoman said: “Glasgow has been part of discussions with the Scottish Government and Cosla around a national decision on fostering fees and allowances but remains one of the local authorities paying higher than the national average for a number of years.

“Our officers will be writing to the organisation as the data being quoted in this release is inaccurate and misleading.

“Glasgow’s integrated care arrangements continue to shift the balance, where appropriate, towards supporting children in their home environment and aligned to the recent national and Scottish Government Independent Care Review and the Promise.

“We have also commissioned a comprehensive family support strategy and doubled the funding from £2.7m to £5.4m for local family support services across the city.”