Issue details

20/00006 - Payment increase for in house Emergency Bed Foster Carers



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


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/12/2019

Decision due: Not before 24th 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: 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.


Agenda items