Decision Maker: Executive Board
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Uplift to payments made aligned with Fostering Fees’ and Allowances as part of an annual review of the Fostering Finance Policy for 2023/24.
Delegation of regular review of fostering payment levels to the Director of Children and Families in consultation with the relevant Executive Member for 2024/25 and subsequent years.
The Director of Children and Families submitted a report which sought approval to recommendations for providing an uplift in the weekly fees and maintenance allowances paid to Leeds foster carers with the aim of ensuring that cost-of-living increases do not disadvantage and impact negatively on Leeds foster carers. The report also presented a proposal for a process to be established for future years regarding the approval of an annual uplift being delegated to the Director of Children and Families.
In introducing the report, the Executive Member highlighted the importance of the role undertaken by foster carers, and how this proposed uplift was something that the Council ‘could not afford not to do’, as it was vitally important to continue to recruit and retain foster carers. The significant demand for foster carers being experienced nationally was noted. It was highlighted that whilst foster carers provided the best outcomes for Looked After Children, foster care was also the most financially sustainable way of caring for those children.
Members welcomed the proposals and extended their thanks to foster carer community in Leeds for the vital role that they played.
Whilst supporting the proposals, a Member made enquiries regarding what further actions could be taken to provide greater support and incentives to foster carers, with an offer to work on a cross-party basis, as appropriate. In response, the Board received further detail on the actions being taken in this area, which included ‘invest to save’ initiatives such as the proposed establishment of an additional level of foster carer for adolescents. Members also noted that work continued to build upon Leeds’ positive performance regarding in-house foster carer levels when compared to other Core Cities and statistical neighbours. Further detail was also given on the wider support and enrichment package being provided to foster carers in Leeds, and also the work being undertaken which aimed to enhance the provision for children’s social care more generally.
(a) That a 5% increase for the fee element paid to Leeds foster carers, to be implemented retrospectively from the 1st April 2023, be agreed;
(b) That a 7% increase for the maintenance allowance element paid to Leeds foster carers, to be implemented retrospectively from the 1st April 2023, be agreed;
(c) That given the need to annually review foster carer fees and allowances, it be agreed that the approval of changes in fee levels in subsequent years be delegated to the Director of Children and Families, in consultation with the Executive Member for Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships, the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources and the Chief Officer, Financial Services.
Reason Key: Financial Impact>£500K;
Portfolio Holder: The Executive Member for Children's social Care & Health Partnerships
Other reasons / organisations consulted
This proposal was developed by the Fostering service and involved consultation with foster carers and finance.
LCC Fostering Service,
Leeds Foster Carer Association
Contact: Ben Finley, Deputy Head of Service, Corporate Parenting 07715 044858 Email: email@example.com.
Report author: Ben Finley
Publication date: 09/02/2024
Date of decision: 07/02/2024
Decided at meeting: 07/02/2024 - Executive Board
Effective from: 17/02/2024