Issue details

17/00023 - Future Commissioning Arrangements for External Fostering Placements

Proposed decision: Approve the approach to the future commissioning of external fostering placements.


How the decision relates to Corporate Objectives: The new commissioning arrangement will support the Council’s strategic objective of children and young people in Kent getting the best start in life.  The new arrangements will also link to the new Children and Young People’s Framework which has four key outcomes for children and young people in Kent:-


·   Grow up in safe families and communities

·   Have good physical, mental and emotional health

·   Learn and have opportunities to achieve throughout their lives

·   Make safe and positive decisions


The outcomes and indicators within the new Framework will inform future performance management requirements and will improve benchmarking and comparison between the Council’s in-house fostering service and the external market.

This matter is referred to in the Strategic Commissioning Business Plan 2016-17.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/03/2017

Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing

Contact: Michelle Louise Hall, Commissioning Manager - Children Living Away From Home 03000 416189 Email:


This proposed decision was discussed at the Children’s Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee on 23March 2017, at which time the proposed decision was endorsed.


Other consultation planned or undertaken: 

Market engagement events have been carried out with the provider market.


Financial implications: The costs related to this project will be outlined in the report which will be considered by the Children’s Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee

Legal implications: Procurement Legislation such as Public Contract Regulations 2015 and Spending the Council’s Money expects procurement to be carried as part of a transparent and competitive process. In addition the services that the Council is seeking to procure are a regulated, statutory service that operates according to the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards 2011, and all duties and requirements are enshrined within national legislation. Section 22G of the Children Act 1989 stating that local authorities are required to take steps that secure as reasonably practical, sufficient accommodation within the authority’s area which meets the needs of children that the local authority are looking after, and whose circumstances are such that it would be consistent with their welfare for them to be provided with accommodation that is in the local authority’s area (“the sufficiency duty”).

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment is currently being completed and full details will be contained in the report which will be presented to the Children’s Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee.


Agenda items