Not for profit fostering providers are expressing disquiet at the size of pay-outs to shareholders in some of the country’s largest for-profit agencies. Whilst we accept that we operate in a mixed market place, the increasing prevalence of tax avoidance schemes and the taking of excessive profits is unacceptable, particularly given the current challenges to Local Authorities working to maintain services in the context of austerity cuts. When profit becomes the primary driver, children and foster families inevitably lose out.
Almost 86,000 children were in foster care in the UK last year. The support they receive from their foster carers can make a huge difference to their lives.
Foster care placements are still paid for publicly but they are increasingly organised by private companies, for a profit.* The number of children who need foster care is going up, and it has become a “growth market”, according to the Financial Times. Even with council spending hit by austerity cuts, it is attracting an ever-wider range of companies and investors.
In response to requests from foster carers concerned by the privatisation of their service, Corporate Watch has combed through company records and accounts to investigate who is behind the UK’s biggest foster care businesses, how much money they are making and where that money is going.
We have found millions of pounds that could be reinvested in the care of children are instead leaving the system as bumper payouts to shareholders. Directors enjoy very generous pay packets, while some companies are siphoning profits out through tax havens in the Channel Islands and the Caribbean.
Foster care has become a lucrative business. Whether it should be a business at all is another question.
Companies referenced in the article:
Foster Care Associates; National Fostering Agency, The Foster Care Agency; Acorn Care and Education, Fostering Solutions, Pathway Care Fostering and Heath Farm Fostering; Partnerships in Children’s Services, Orange Grove, ISP, Fosterplus and Clifford House; Swiis Foster Care; Capstone Foster Care; Compass Fostering, The Fostering Partnership, Eden Foster Care and Seafields Fostering; Caretech
Click on the link below for the full article, including information on each of these companies, such as company owners, income from foster care, payouts to owners and highest paid director salary.
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