Foster care payments and allowances

1.When did foster carers last receive an increase to their fostering allowances? (show as month/year)

August 1st 2017.

An increase was agreed by Devon County Council in October 2018, with implementation planned for January 2019.

2. A breakdown of fees currently paid to foster carers, using the format below:

Age Maintenance Fee Additional payment – please specify 
0-4£144.72Please see information on link provided in response to Question 3.
5-10£164.80As above
11-15£205.24As above
16+£249.71As above

3. What additional payments are provided to carers, and for the additional payments that are provided, what are the standard costs for each additional payment split by age range? (Examples of additional payments are included below)
a. Clothing;
b. Holiday;
c. Christmas/festival;
d. Birthday;
e. Equipment/furniture

Additional payments provided to carers. 

4. Who is responsible (local authority or carers) for ensuring that children and young people (CYP) are receiving pocket money and savings?

Carers

a. What is the weekly pocket money amount provided to children and young people
b. What is the weekly savings amount provided to children and young people

Allowances and payments made to foster carers include an element for pocket money and savings and guidance is also provided on the appropriate amount based on the age of the child. Exact amounts are at the discretion of the carers themselves based on their family circumstances. Therefore we are unable to provide an actual amount in respect of a and b as we do not hold that information.

5. Are carers entitled to paid respite? If yes, how many days?

No. Respite is provided on a discretionary basis depending on need.

Framework Providers & Fees

6. In relation to any Frameworks you currently operate with Independent Fostering Agency Providers, please provide the following information (including Provider name) about the number of CYP placed with Independent Fostering Provider Foster Carers, the average weekly fee paid for these placements, per age bracket and any applicable discounts agreed with said Provider. Please use the format below:

Framework Provider name0-4 placements Weekly fee (average) 5-10 placements Weekly fee (average)11-15 placements Weekly fee (average) 16+ placements Weekly fee(average) Discounts agreed 

As disclosure of the information about the number of children placed with a particular provider may identify individuals it is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 40(2) Personal Data

As disclosure of the average weekly fee paid to each provider may prejudice the commercial interests of ourselves and those providers we consider that this information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 43 (2) -Prejudice to Commercial Interests. This is a qualified exemption meaning we will apply a public interest test to determine if the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. In this case we believe that the reasons for not maintaining the exemption – openness, accountability, and promoting competition are outweighed by the reasons for maintaining the exemption, mainly competition and the potential impact on pricing negotiations

7. As per question 6, please provide the same information using the format below; however, this time in relation to Non-Framework Providers i.e. where the Local Authority (LA) has placed with Independent Fostering Agency Providers using a Spot Purchase mechanism because the Provider is not on a Framework with the LA.

Framework provider name 0-4 placements Weekly fee (average) 5-10 placements Weekly fee (average)11-15 placements Weekly fee (average) 16+ placements Weekly fee(average) Discounts agreed 

As disclosure of the information about the numbers of children placed with a particular provider may identify individuals it is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act Section 40 (2) Personal Data.

As disclosure of the average weekly fee paid to each provider may prejudice the commercial interests of ourselves and those providers we consider that this information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 43 (2) -Prejudice to Commercial Interests. This is a qualified exemption meaning we will apply a public interest test to determine if the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. In this case we believe that the reasons for not maintaining the exemption – openness, accountability, and promoting competition are outweighed by the reasons for maintaining the exemption, mainly competition and the potential impact on pricing negotiations

Caseloads

8. What is the average No of LAC cases your social workers are expected to hold at any one time.

We do not hold this information. Social workers have varied caseloads including potentially some looked after children and there is no expectation to hold an average number of Looked After Children cases.