FOI Request - Kinship & Foster Care Allowances

Request 101000191587

For each request below, please provide the information sought in relation to each one of these three categories:

(a) Children and young people in formal kinship care
(b) Children and young people in informal kinship care
(c) Children and young people in foster care

Please provide us with the following information:

(1) Details of all of your rates of payment of a) allowances and b) fees or skills payments, both in relation to the categories of children set out above and (if applicable) in relation to individual children. Please provide all of the rates applicable for each of the ears 2008 to 2013 inclusive.

Where rates are determined by age or any other criteria please set out the criteria and relevant rates of payment.

(2) Details of all of the statutory powers under which the payments detailed in your response to the above request have been made, in each of the years 2008 and 2013 inclusive.

(3) The number of children and young people within your local authority area in each of the three categories above.  Please provide the numbers applicable for each of the years 2008 to 2013 inclusive.

(4) The number of children and young people in each of the three categories above in relation to whom a) allowances and b) fees or skills payments were paid out by you in each of the years 2008 to 2013 inclusive.

(5) A copy of the equality data you have collected in relation to children and young people in each of the three categories above for the years 2011 to 2013 inclusive.

(6) A copy of the equality data you have collected in relation to carers of children and young people in each of the three categories above for the years 2011 to 2013 inclusive.

(7) Details of any action you have taken between 2008 and the present day to equalise kinship care and foster payments.

(8) Copies of all information held by you, including but not limited to, all papers, reports, proposals, recommendations, policies, notes and minutes of meeting which relate to services, support and rates of payment for kinship carers and / or foster carers, between 2008 and the present day.

(9) Copies of all Equality Impact Assessments carried out by you on your policies and practices relating to services, support and rates of payment for kinship carers and / or foster carers between 2008 and the present day.

(10) Details of the arrangements you have in place to make kinship and foster carers aware of the services, support and payments they are entitled to.

Response 13-11-2013

1. Kinship Care; We only pay Kinship Allowance to approved – i.e. formal Kinship - Carers. Area Teams have the discretion to provide financial support to extended families who have made their own arrangements to look after a child, but who had not been approached, nor arrangements made through SW mechanisms. The criteria for payment would require that there was evidence that formal accommodation by Moray Council would have been likely without the family intervention. Payment typically is limited to a maximum of £50 per week in these instances. (See 3.5 in Report to Committee on 06 June 2012) There are no supplementary payments. Child benefit is deducted from the amounts detailed, which reflect COSLA rates to Foster Carers;

 

AGE

AMOUNT; 2012/13

AMOUNT; 2013/14

0 – 4 years

£78.82

£80.40

5 – 10 years

£97.80

£99.76

11 – 15 years

£121.74

£124.17

16 years +

£157.63

£160.78

 

Fostering Allowances and Fees;

The Foster Carer is paid the allowance according to age of the child.  Level of fee – new carers(until core training is complete) and respite carers get level 1 for each child placed.  Level 2 fees are paid to carers who have completed core training and who have children on temporary placements placed.  They are paid fees for each child but on a sliding scale i.e. 100% for first child; 75% for second child and 50% for 3 + children.  Level 3 only applies when a child is placed on a permanent basis.  A 4th level is paid to Carers who have been recruited under our ‘Choices’ Team, who are expected to manage children with place a higher level of demand on the Carer.

Allowances

  0-4 5-10 11-15 16+
2008/2009 121.68 138.61 172.55 209.86
2009/2010 125.09 142.49 177.38 215.74
2010/2011 125.09 142.49 177.38 215.74
2011/2012 131.49 149.76 186.43 226.74
2012/.2013 134.49 153.20 190.72 232.00
2013/2014 137.18 156.26 194.53 236.64
Fees
  Level 1 & respite Level 2 Level 3 Choices
2008/2009        
2009/2010 81.67 136.13 190.58 421.89
2010/2011 82.20 137.01 191.82 424.63
2011/2012 No change No change No change No change
2012/.2013 No change No change No change No change
2013/2014 No change No change No change No change

2. Kinship Care; we pay Kinship Carers under section 50 of the 1975 children act and have done since the scheme was formalised in 2010.  Prior to that most payments would have been under section 22 from area budgets.

3. and 4.

The figures below are numbers in placement per annum.

Approved Kinship placements are supported at COSLA Rates; Family arranged placements are generally supported from Area Team budgets (S22) at a rate of £50 per week.

Year Fostering Placements Approved Kinship Placements Family arranged Kinship Placements
2008 51    
2009 62    
2010 61 45 7
2011 66 45 3
2012 59 44 5
2013 48 43 0

5 and 6.  Equality data – age, race, gender, religion - is recorded on individual plans and reports in respect of both children and young people, and carers. However, we do not currently have mechanisms for showing this information cumulatively.

7.  Kinship payments have from the outset been equalised with Foster Care payments in as much as they are set against COSLA fostering rates. Foster carers for LAC receive Fostering Network rates and when the Network make a recommendation for £% increase TMC agrees that recommendation: many Councils either do or not.  We have committee approval to adjust as per recommendation without return to committee.

8.  and 9. Attached for your information are the following;

#1 13 Feb 2008 Committee Report; Kinship Care
#2 09 June 2010 Committee Report; Kinship Care Scheme
#3 09 June 2010 Committee Report; Inspection of Fostering Service
#4 09 June 2010 Council Minute from 09 June
#5 14 April 2010 Committee Report; Fostering and related fees
#6 14 April 2010 Council Minute from 14 April
#7 12 Aug 2009 Committee Report; Inspection of Fostering Service
#8 12 Aug 2009 Council Minute from 12 August
#9 18 Aug 2010 Committee Report on Residence Allowances
#10 18 Aug 2010 Council Minute from 18 August
#11 Dec 2009 Equalities Impact Assessment
#12 06 June 2012 Committee Report; Kinship Care and Residence Allowances
#13 06 June 2012 Council Minute from 06 June 2012
#14 22 June 2011 Committee Report; Inspection of Moray Fostering Service
#15 22 June 2011 Council Minute from 22 June 2011
#16 18 Jan 2012 Committee Report; Inspection of Moray Fostering Service
#17 18 Jan 2012 Council Minute from 18 Jan 2012
#18 27 Feb 2013 Committee Report; Amendment to Kinship Care Scheme
#19 27 Feb 2013 Council Minute from 27 Feb 2013
10. Local Press have carried information at different times on Kinship (2010 and on ) and Fostering in Moray; The Moray Council Website carries up to date information on different aspects of care, including fees and allowances, and voluntary partners in the area carry printed information in respect of both Fostering and Kinship Care. Carers also receive written information on initial contact with TMC, including the mentor UK pack and the Kinship Care Helpline. There are bi-annual consultation events to maintain contact with carers.

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