ChArity to run foster service
New £126 million contract is a national first
The fostering and adoption service run by Peterborough City Council will be taken over by a charity in a 10-year, £126 million contract. The council’s Conservativerun cabinet agreed on MondaytoappointTheAdolescent andChildren’sTrust(TACT) to run the authority’s new Permanency Service, which includesfosteringandadoption.
The Permanency Service starts from April 2017 and will be the first of its kind in the country.
Councillor Sam Smith, cabinetmemberforchildren’s services, called the move “an exciting opportunity.”
She said: “We believe that this new partnership will enable us to recruit and retain more local foster carers through an improved support network that TACT will deliver. This will lead to more local longer-termfosterplacements for Peterborough children and young people.”
The partnership with TACT is expected to deliver savings of £1 million a year once it is fully established.
Staff working for the PermanencyServicewillbebased at councilofficesandoverseen byajoint board including senior council officers.
Currentcouncilstaffworking in fostering and adoption will transfer to TACT.
Lou Williams, the council’s service director for children and safeguarding, said: “I really do think this is a very goodopportunityforchildren, youngpeople andthecouncil. It’s a unique and very innovative approach.
“TACT has many years of experience recruiting foster carers. That’s very muchtheir corebusinessandit’snotours.
“Theyarealso able to bring the infrastructure around 24/7 support which is really critical for carers.
“The beauty of this is it’s a very strong recruiting model. It’s a charity and that’s very attractive for foster carers.”
MrWilliamssaid staff who transfer over to TACT will not see the terms and conditions of their contracts worsen.
AndyElvin, chief executive officerofTACT, said: “Welook forwardtolaunchingtheservice next year and further improvingoutcomesforchildren in Peterborough.”