Family-based carers in South Australia will soon be receiving an additional $50 per fortnight for each child in their care, under the age of 16, to assist with growing cost of living pressures.

The changes to the carer payment scheme, which come into effect from 1 July, will also see a 4.8% boost to all carer payments.

Increasing carer payments to better reflect the true cost of caring was a recommendation in Dr Fiona Arney’s Report of the Independent Inquiry into Foster and Kinship Care, released late last year.

Recognising the increasing costs of caring for children and young people, the state government is committing an additional $32 million to foster and kinship carers over the next four years through the carer payment scheme, with an extra $4 million to increase the number of kinship care assessments undertaken.

This additional funding will see the Department for Child Protection hire an extra seven full-time employees to undertake additional kinship care assessments. The measure is in line with the state government’s commitment to ensuring kinship placements are explored for children and young people to support them in keeping strong connections with family and culture.

Carer payments are determined by the age of the child or young person and their level of need and support.

About 85 per cent of all children in care currently reside in foster or kinship care. Family-based care is the preferred placement for children and young people.