FOSTER Carers in a borough are to get a two per cent rise in allowances to encourage recruitment.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's children's services boss Cllr Julie Gunn has authorised the increase which will cost £102,979.

It also applies to Special Guardians.

A report by Director of Children's Services and Education Jayne Ivory recommended the increases.

It said: "A payment review has considered Local Authority challenges in terms of the recruitment and retention of foster carers.

"This also takes into account our competitors in neighbouring authorities and independent fostering agencies, in terms of rates of pay.

"In order to recruit and retain foster carers, the payment rates awarded need to be competitive and well promoted in the borough and beyond.

"An attractive pay allowance, alongside a strong support package offer, is paramount in order to increase new fostering enquiries and also to retain our existing cohort of carers and prevent the rate of transfer to Independent Fostering Agencies.

" This percentage mirrors the increase awarded last financial year.

"It is increasingly challenging for the local authority to attract potential Foster Carers, significantly more so in the current climate.

"Total additional expenditure for2020/2021 would be £102,979."