Plans to boost fees paid to foster carers in Leicestershire are set to be considered.
The changes will come into effect from August 1 if the council’s cabinet approves a new fostering fee policy.
The move would cost more than £160,000 and is part of wider plans to save £3m by recruiting more in-house foster carers, ensuring that Leicestershire’s children in care can remain in the county.
Placing a child with an independent fostering agency costs around £12,500 per child more than with an in-house carer.
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 proposed changes reflect their thoughts.
“As a result we plan to offer further financial support to specific specialist carers and simplify progression for carers which will help ensure they continue to receive training and support while developing the skills needed to support our children in care.Person:Councillor Ivan Ould, cabinet member for children and families
The proposed changes will increase the payments given to mainstream foster carers and kinship carers at the lowest end of the skills payment scale.
They will also introduce a clear payment-for-skills progression pathway for all foster carers, including kinship carers, and adjust the payment for some specialist schemes to promote recruitment.
They follow consultation with carers and discussions with other local authorities, comparisons with independent fostering agencies and discussions with current foster carers about the fees, support and training they receive.
Cabinet will consider the proposals on July 6.
Prospective foster carers can find out more or call 0116 305 0505 for more information and an informal chat with the council’s fostering recruitment team.