Proposed decision –
a) APPROVE the changes to the rates payable for Children’s Services in 2023-24.
b) NOTE the rates which are dictated by external agencies i.e. Inter-agency charges and Essential Living Allowance
c) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, or other nominated officers, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision.
The rates payable by Children’s Services are reviewed annually, with any revisions normally introduced from the start of the new financial year.
Some of the increases are directly linked to the published Department for Education fostering rates, which are reviewed by the Department annually.
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: 14/03/2023
This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.
Reason for urgency:
Due to an administrative issue, initial publication of the Forthcoming Executive Decision notice was delayed. Implementation is required prior to the 1st of April, which does not allow for compliance with the standard decision timeframe. Mitigating the urgency are the following factors: The proposed decision was considered in public by Cabinet Committee in early March in accordance with normal arrangements and the progression via urgency will ensure those receiving the relevant payments will not be negatively impacted by any further delay.
Decision due: Not before 23rd Mar 2023 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Lead director: Sarah Hammond
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: Karen Stone, CYPE Finance Business Partner Tel: 03000 416733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial implications: The increase in payments and income have been reflected in the Council's budget plans presented to County Council on 10 February 2023 under the heading "Inflation - Children's Social Care" at just over £7.0m. This calculation includes an assumed uplift for all in-house fostering and associated payments. It is estimated the cost of these proposals will be £0.6m more than provided in the budget as the DFE annual uplift to the National Minimal Allowance was greater than estimated. The Directorate will look to see what alternative management action could be taken to mitigate against this increase in costs and the resulting impact will be reported in the monitoring throughout the forthcoming year. Where alternative compensating actions are not possible the Council has approved a £12m contribution to the risk reserve in 2023-24.
Legal implications: The national minimum standards, together with regulations on the placement of children in foster care, such as the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, form the basis of the regulatory framework under the Care Standards Act 2000 for the conduct of fostering services. The report distinguishes between those rates over which Members can exercise their discretion, and those set by Government or external agencies.
Equalities implications: There have not been any adverse impacts assessed within these proposals to increase funding rates for children’s services.