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7.3 Payments to Foster Carers

POLICY

The Department’s policy is to make regular and timely payments to Foster Carers that reimburses them for the cost of the child and in addition re-numerates them for their skills and training.

PURPOSE

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Foster Carer Agreement and the annual Foster Carer Payment Schedule.

SCOPE

This applies to all approved and registered mainstream foster carers and kinship carers.


Contents

  1. Mainstream Carers
  2. Family and Friend's Carers
  3. Miscellaneous Payments

    Appendix 1: Mainstream Foster Carers Payment Schedule

    Appendix 2: Family and Friend’s Payment Schedule


1. Mainstream Carers

Mainstream foster carers are carers that have no connection to any child or young person that is or has been placed with them.

Foster carers receive a regular payment from the department that is made up of the following components:

  • A child allowance determined by the age of the child;
  • A skills fee per child (dependent on attending and maintaining training and support).

Additional payments available to foster carers include:

  • Birthday allowance;
  • Significant event allowance;
  • Holiday Allowance;
  • Emergency clothing allowance;
  • Reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses.

Full details of all payments are available in an annual schedule available to foster carers.

Administration of Payments

The supervising social worker will share the payment schedule within the first 7 days of approval (usually with the foster carer agreement).

Payment is made by BACS payment which will require the carer to provide the relevant bank details.

The carers will receive the calculated allowance and skills fee for the duration of the placement(s).

When a placement ends the supervising social worker is responsible for communicating, verbally and in writing, the change in arrangements to the administrator of the payments.

Dependent on the circumstances the carers may be entitled to a retainer payment, and the details of this are set out fully in the payment schedule (see Appendix 1: Mainstream Foster Carers Payment Schedule).

The supervising social worker will regularly check that the carer is receiving the correct allowance and re-numeration for their circumstances. In the event an under payment or over payment is made, the foster carer should inform the supervising social worker as soon as possible and amendments to payments will be made.

All approved and registered foster carers are required to comply with the legal standards governing approval and registration in order to continue to receive allowances and fees.


2. Family and Friend's Carers

A family and friends carer (also known as kinship carers) are registered and approved carers that have an established connection to the child they are caring for.

At the commencement of placement the carer will receive the appropriate child allowance direct from the department pending temporary approval.

The social worker for the child will establish quickly if the placement is to proceed beyond 6 weeks (i.e. not returning to family of origin).

Once determined the placement is to proceed beyond 6 weeks, the child’s social worker will refer to the family placement service for temporary approval of the carers to be obtained for the carers.

Once temporary approval is obtained the carer will receive the appropriate child’s allowance and family and friends skills fee as set out in the payment schedule (see Appendix 2: Family and Friend’s Payment Schedule).

Temporary approval should be determined no later than 10 weeks from the date of placement and permanent approval no later than 16 weeks from the date of placement.

Family and Friends carers receive a regular payment from the department that is made up of the following components:

  • A child allowance determined by the age of the child;
  • A family and friends skills fee per child.

Additional payments available to family and friends carers include:

  • Birthday allowance;
  • Significant event allowance;
  • Holiday Allowance;
  • Emergency clothing allowance;
  • Reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses.

Full details of all payments are available in an annual payment schedule available to family and friends carers.


3. Miscellaneous Payments

Any matter of a financial nature that is not covered in the policy or is an “exceptional matter” should be raised with the supervising social worker or child’s social worker, who will seek direction from the FPS team leader and or senior managers of the Directorate.

Administration of Payments

The supervising social worker will share the payment schedule within the first 7 days of approval (usually with the foster carer agreement).

Payment is made by BACS payment which will require the carer to provide the relevant bank details.

The supervising social worker will regularly check that the carer is receiving the correct allowance and re-numeration for their circumstances. In the event an under payment or over payment is made, the friends and family carer should inform the supervising social worker as soon as possible and amendments to payments will be made.

All payments will cease at the ending of the placement.

For all details relating to payments, the annual payment schedule should be consulted. See: Appendix 1: Mainstream Foster Carers Payment Schedule and Appendix 2: Family and Friend’s Payment Schedule.


Appendix 1: Mainstream Foster Carers Payment Schedule

Click here to view Appendix 1: Mainstream Foster Carers Payment Schedule.


Appendix 2: Family and Friend’s Payment Schedule

Click here to view Appendix 2: Family and Friend’s Payment Schedule.

End