In­crease in fees given to foster car­ers in the county

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

FOSTER car­ers in Le­ices­ter­shire are ben­e­fit­ting from an in­crease in the amount they re­ceive in fees.

Changes to pay­ments paid to Le­ices­ter­shire County Coun­cil’s in-house car­ers came into force this month and are part of plans to boost re­cruit­ment and sim­plify the way car­ers can progress.

The coun­cil des­per­ately needs to re­cruit new car­ers to cope with an in­crease in the num­ber of chil­dren in its care and help it re­duce the amount it spends on agency foster car­ers.

It is hoped the changes will also pro­vide a boost to its ex­ist­ing car­ers who work hard to pro­vide lov­ing homes to chil­dren around the county.

Coun­cil­lor Ivan Ould, cab­i­net mem­ber for chil­dren and fam­i­lies, said: “We know foster car­ers’ pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion is to sup­port chil­dren and young people, but we also recog­nise that fos­ter­ing needs to be fi­nan­cially vi­able for people.

“We’ve lis­tened to our car­ers’ com­ments through a six week con­sul­ta­tion and had nu­mer­ous dis­cus­sions to en­sure these changes re­flect their thoughts.

“Our car­ers do a fan­tas­tic job and we recog­nise their skills and knowl­edge which is why, fol­low­ing this con­sul­ta­tion, we have de­vel­oped our spe­cial­ist schemes and in­creased the sup­port and train­ing avail­able to them to en­able our more chal­leng­ing / high needs place­ments to be placed in house.

“The truth is, how­ever, that we need to re­cruit more foster car­ers to look af­ter our chil­dren and young people

“We hope that this in­crease in fee pay­ment will go some way to recog­nis­ing the car­ers we have and be an­other fac­tor that will en­cour­age more people to con­sider fos­ter­ing with us.”

There are cur­rently more than 550 of chil­dren in care in Le­ices­ter­shire* and this is fore­cast to in­crease to more than 750 by March 2022. It costs an ad­di­tional £12,500 per child per an­num when the coun­cil needs to use a fos­ter­ing agency.

The in­crease in fees is cost­ing the coun­cil more than £160,000. How­ever, it’s part of wider plans to save £3m by re­cruit­ing more of its own foster car­ers, en­sur­ing that Le­ices­ter­shire’s chil­dren in care can re­main in the county.

Prospec­tive foster car­ers can visit www.fos­ter­ingle­ices­ter­shire.com or call 0116 305 0505 for more in­for­ma­tion and an in­for­mal chat with the coun­cil’s fos­ter­ing re­cruit­ment team.

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