A FOSTER carer has claimed council decisions are stopping care experienced young people "having the same life chances as their peers".

Union members have been campaigning since December for an uplift in the amount of money they receive from Glasgow City Council.

But a recent funding decision by the Integration Joint Board (IJB) — a partnership of the council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde — only awarded a rise to those looking after children aged 10 and under.

Foster carer Jane Wright, who looks after teenagers, said the repeated funding freeze for young people was leaving already struggling families even worse off.

She said: “Like many foster carers across our city, I'm facing the eleventh year in which I have seen the child allowance pay frozen.

"At a time when the cost of living is dramatically rising, the child allowance no longer covers the essentials.

"Care experienced young people aren't asking for extras.

"They just want to have the same life chances as their peers but this pay freeze is preventing that.

"Almost every employee in the country will have at least a small rise this year but teenagers in the care of Glasgow City Council are being denied any sort of an increase and the system continues to rely on the financial sacrifices of their carers.

"It is not fair to expect the love and goodwill of kinship and foster carers to fund the basics when we are already struggling financially ourselves."

In advance of the council's budget announcements, foster carers launched the Fairness for Foster Care campaign to demand an end to a 10-year freeze on child allowances, equating to a 24% real-terms cut.

The unions says its campaign has received support from the Scottish Greens, Labour, the Conservatives, and a number of independents.

Following a demonstration in George Square joined by councillors Matt Kerr and Russell Robertson, an amendment brought by the Scottish Greens and passed by Glasgow City Council recommended a 10% increase to child allowances in February’s budget.

The council also proposed a union recognition deal.

In March, however, IJN members were given two options by officials - to agree to no rise or to agree to an increase for carers of children aged 10 or below, some 40% of carers in Glasgow.

Members chose the second option, meaning the allowance for kinship and foster carers with children aged four and under will rise from £137.18 to £146 per week.

Those looking after children between five and 10 will get an increase from £156.30 to £170.

Glasgow Times: Jane Wright, Chair of Foster Care Workers Union joins Members of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) demonstrate in George Square in Glasgow tuesday coinciding with Uber workers' rights case at Court of Appeal and the first

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Following a review of expected national allowances, the IJB agreed to uplift allowances for kinship and foster carers with children zero to 10 years.

"Glasgow remains as one of the local authorities paying higher than the national average and has been for a number of years.

"We continue to be part of the national debate and await the outcome of ongoing Scottish Government and COSLA discussions around a national decision on fostering fees and allowances."

But Kenny Millard, chairman of the Foster Care Worker Branch of the IWGB, said: "The 10% increase to child allowances voted on by our elected representatives will make a huge difference to the lives of our foster carers and the vulnerable children in their care who have seen incomes frozen for a decade."

Mr Millard added that the HSCP's decision would cause hundreds of foster carers to face "another year of real-terms cuts to their income" and said the move would prompt foster carers to leave the local authority for private agencies.

In advance of May's local elections, the IWGB is organising a hustings on the future of Glasgow’s foster care system on the 20th April at Govanhill Parish Church.

Alex Marshall, President of the union, said: "This is nothing less than a betrayal of Glasgow’s foster carers and the vulnerable children in their care.

"We call on elected councillors to use the powers they have been granted to implement the decisions made by the full council.

"Councillors of all parties should rail against this injustice, or they will find they will be voted out come May.”