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
Proposed decision – 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.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/12/2019
Decision due: Not before 21st Jan 2020 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Lead director: Sarah Hammond
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: Caroline Smith, Assistant Director, Corporate Parenting, Integrated Children's Services Tel: 03000 415091 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 03000 415091.
As part of the review of the current scheme, foster carers undertaking the work have been interviewed and made suggestions of how to improve practice in relation to emergency placements for children and young people. Consultation has been undertaken with our Foster Carers Ambassadors regarding the current payments structure.
This matter was discussed at the CYPE Cabinet Committee meeting on 10th January 2020.
Financial implications: This information is outlined within the attached report.
Legal implications: This information is outlined within the attached report.
Equalities implications: An Equality and Impact Assessment has been completed. It did not identify any areas of concern.