Foster parents praised by minister
A SENIOR government figure spent Tuesday morning at a Great Chart school, learning about two innovative care programmes being piloted in Kent.
Beverley Hughes, the minister for children, young people and families, said she would consider what she had heard as part of a forthcoming government White Paper on foster care.
The small-scale initiatives, the Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Programme (MTF) and the Therapeutic Reparenting scheme (TRP) focus on the most difficult children to foster. Both are run by Kent County Council.
Based at the Goldwyn Community Special School in Godinton Lane, where Tuesday’s consultation took place, the MTF is designed for teenagers, while the TRP looks to support younger children.
Foster parents at the meeting praised the impact of schemes, which, it is claimed, are cheaper and more effective than traditional ways of caring for difficult children, in particular housing them in residential homes.
Children on the MTF programme have had £77,840 each spent on them per year, while those under the auspices of the TRP have cost £43,700. This compares favourably with the cost of keeping a child in a care home which is around £200,000 a year.
Mrs Hughes described the meeting as “incredibly illuminating for me,” adding: “We are in the process of drawing up a White Paper on how we can all do better for children in care.
“I think they are both really excellent schemes.”
Children’s minister Beverley Hughes meets foster carers Jackie and Andrew and Maggie