Plans are being drawn up to increase fees paid to foster carers joining our team.
The proposals would see first time foster carers - and those currently at the lower end of the payment scale - receive up to £40 per week more.
The proposed changes are part of a longer term strategy to strengthen the support given to our children and young people in care, bolster fostering recruitment and improve training for existing carers.
The move would cost £260,000 and is part of wider plans to save £3 million 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 £15,000 more than with an in-house carer.
While we know that prospective foster carers are motivated by the desire to help children and young people rather than money, we also recognise that fostering needs to be financially viable for people.
“We have set ourselves some tough recruitment targets in foster care recruitment this year, and in order to make sure we’re attracting the foster carers of tomorrow, we’re proposing to increase the rates that a first time foster carer receives, and make sure that our current carers at that level also receive an uplift in their fees.Person:Councillor Ivan Ould, cabinet member for children and families
The wider plans would aim to strengthen support to vulnerable children in care (and those that could be taken into care) alongside a further developed package of support and training for foster carers.
The proposals have been put together following consultation with other local authorities, comparisons with independent fostering agencies and discussions with current foster carers about the fees, support and training they receive.
The proposal will be discussed at cabinet on 9 January. If given the go ahead, the next step would be to consult with foster carers and members of the public on the planned fee changes.
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.