Improved fees and allowances for foster carers and adopters
Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board have agreed a range of proposals to improve local placements for children in care.
The changes agreed include an increase in fees and allowances for foster carers, special guardians and adopters to support and enhance the vital role of carers in helping to look after children in care.
In order to address a change in the age and profile of children coming in to care over recent years the council has carried out a review in to the current provision of locally based placements – foster care, kinship care and adoption.
It has been agreed to increase the foster carer allowances to 90% of the Fostering Network recommended rates from October 2013 and to 100% from April 2014.
The newly agreed increase in fees and allowances, when combined with the corporate offer for foster carers announced earlier this year, will give Leeds a unique offer to foster carers. This combines high quality professional support, a clear fee structure and corporate recognition of the important role that foster carers play in caring for vulnerable children in the city. This will enable the council to be robust and competitive with neighbouring local authorities and Independent Fostering Agencies in recruiting and retaining foster carers.
The board also agreed proposals to support informal kinship care arrangements to help strengthen families and prevent children from entering care when they can be safely cared for within the wider family network. The board heard how research has highlighted that children who are unable to be looked after by their parents but are in the care of close relative have better outcomes than other looked after children. However, it is essential that kinship carers receive the support that they need to carry out their role. The Leeds offer has been reviewed and strengthened to increase the support to informal kinship carers.
A range of proposals to help recruit more adoptive parents and ensure that children are placed for adoption in a timely manner, was also approved at today’s meeting.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“Making sure children in our care are well looked after and in the most appropriate placement for them is vitally important, which is why we are investing more in our fostering, adoption and kinship carer provision.
“These new measures demonstrate how much we value the people who care for some of the most vulnerable children in our city. By increasing the allowances for foster carers will ultimately benefit the children in their care.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713