To receive a report which sets out the proposed revision to the rates payable and charges levied for children’s services within Kent for the 2019-20 financial year.
Mr Pleace (Revenue and Tax Strategy Manager) was in attendance for this item.
1. Mr Pleace introduced the report which set out the proposed revision to the rates payable and charges levied for children’s services within Kent for the 2019-20 financial year.
Mr Pleace and Ms Hammond then responded to comments and questions from Members, including the following: -
a) Mr Pleace referred to the Adoption Service Charges figures within the report and explained that the charges related to children that were placed for adoption in local authority areas outside of Kent. Ms Hammond added that adoption charges for children that were placed for adoption outside of Kent were set nationally and agreed with the appropriate host authorities.
b) Ms Hammond talked about the weekly Essential Living Allowance payment which was paid to Care Leavers including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). Ms Hammond added that the payment was not generally paid to citizen 18+ care leavers as they were able to access Universal Welfare Benefits, but that in circumstances of undetermined status, the payment was still made to a number of over 18 UASC care leavers.
c) Mr Pleace talked about the Foster Carer Mileage rate and confirmed that the increase was in line with the mileage rate that was paid to staff within Kent County Council. He added that the mileage rate of 45p per mile was limited to 10,000 miles.
d) Mr Pleace referred to the Other Local Authority Charges points within the report and said that the proposed rate for social work support and assessment had increased by 2.8% which was the average pay increase for Kent County Council’s social workers.
e) Mr Pleace said that the administration fee associated with social work support and assessment was £20 per invoice which was the same amount as the previous year. Ms Hammond said that the overall activity in relation to administration associated with social work support and assessment was very limited.
f) Mr Pleace talked about other local authority charges within the Residential Respite Service and said that the charge made to other local authorities who placed children in Kent’s in-house respite residential beds was mandatory.
2. RESOLVED that the proposed decision to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education to:
(i) approve the proposed changes to the rates payable and charges levied for Children’s Services in 2019-20 as detailed in section 2 of this report;
(ii) note both the changes to the rates that are set by the Government/external agencies: Inter-agency charges and Essential Living Allowance and; any charges to other Local Authorities for use of in-house respite residential beds are to be calculated on a full cost recovery basis; and
(iii) delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, or other nominated officer, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision,