Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Emergency Bed Scheme is a valuable resource provided by the Kent Fostering Service. It provides children and young people with a time limited home during a period of crisis which can include; a child/young person being placed on remand, family breakdown or a placement break down. The scheme has been in place for several years without any recent revision. The Policy aims to provide a clear and up to date framework on the roles and responsibilities within the service to ensure that the needs of a child/young person are responded to in a timely manner to achieve identification of the most appropriate home for their needs. There is a current fostering recruitment strategy which includes increasing the number of Emergency Bed carers; the revised policy and proposed payment structure will enhance our ability to attract more carers to the scheme.
The scheme has been reviewed, with a recommendation to update the current policy and implement the following changes:
· Increase the current 7-day placement limit to 10 working days
· Clarify the roles within the Integrated Children Services teams to ensure accountability and ensure appropriate support for children, young people and foster carers
· Clarify processes, timescales and authorisations for specific actions
· Introduce the ability to pay an enhanced payment to emergency bed carers for our most complex children.
· Provide an updated agreement/contract to emergency bed foster carers.
· Support and enhance recruitment of foster carers to the scheme
To agree that Kent County Council will introduce an enhanced payment structure for emergency bed placements with in-house foster carers. This is to strengthen the placement provision for children and young people at times of crisis and avoid young people going into residential placements.
Publication date: 27/01/2020
Date of decision: 27/01/2020
Effective from: 04/02/2020