Agenda item

Agenda item

Fostering Team Annual Report 2017-18


To consider the 2017-18 Annual Report for the Fostering Team.




The Panel considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services on the 2017/18 Annual Report for the Fostering Team. A copy of the report was attached at Appendix 1 to the Director of Children’s Services report and a copy of the Foster Carers Charter was attached at Appendix 2.


Points and comments included:


        The Fostering Practice Manager explained that the number of occasions on which a children was admitted into the care of the Local Authority remained similar to that of the previous year (131 occasions compared with 132 in the previous year).


        20 of the young people placed during the last year with in-house foster carers, Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA’s) or in semi-independent living were unaccompanied asylum seekers (compared to 44 in the previous year).


        In this financial year the highest percentage of the children accommodated during the year were aged between 0 to 4 years of age in comparison to the previous financial year (2016/17) where the highest percentage of children accommodated were in the 16+ age category.


        The placement of siblings continued to be an area of challenge due to the lack of bedroom space.


        At the end of March 2018 the Service had exceeded the target of 8.5% set for this financial year (currently at 7.1%) in relation to the percentage of Looked After Children with 3 or more placement moves during the year.


        In response to the concerns raised about number of short term placement moves, the Head of Corporate Parenting explained that in some cases the placement moves are only changes in legal status not physical moves of addresses.


        The national concern about the ageing population of foster carers and that 10/15% due to retire in next 5 years continued. The average age of CBC carer is between 40-54, youngest being 23, oldest being 76. Research completed by CBC fostering service indicated that this was not currently an area for concern.


        There continued to be a year on year increase in the number of requests for Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs). The main support requested was in relation to contact followed by therapy for the children.


        A celebration of 50 years of took place in June and 3 fostering households were successfully nominated in the year and would be attending 1 of the Queen’s Garden Parties during 2018.


        The new initiative ‘Tea with Alex’ gave foster carers the opportunity to meet with the Head of Corporate Parenting on a regular basis to help shape the service.


        The number of allegations against foster carers /Ofsted notifications remained low and no new complaints made about the Fostering Service. Compliments.


        The Service received 7 compliments during the year on a range of different issues. The Fostering Service also received very positive feedback from Ofsted inspection.


        A number of different schemes had been developed including the Supported Lodging Scheme, a Parent and Child Fostering Scheme and PACE Fostering Scheme.


        The Service had taken over some responsibility for assessing and supporting Private Foster Carers.


        Future work for the Service included:

o   the recruitment of more foster carers

o   the introduction a loan scheme for foster carers to enable them to extend/adapt their property in order to care for siblings groups

o   looking into a Support Care Scheme which is a preventative strategy to support children on the edge of care


Members were advised that Central Bedfordshire Council introduced a Foster Carers Charter in 2011, but this had now been reviewed in light of updates from the Fostering Network. The Charter sets out the Fostering Services and foster carers roles and expectations and commitments to each other.


The Fostering Practice Manager will be exploring the reason for the increase in the provision of regular respite placements from 50 occasions in the previous year to 102 this year.


Members of the Panel were advised that information provided in the annual report was in accordance with statutory guidance but data on Social Worker stability could be added if required.




the Fostering Agency Annual Report.




that the Foster Carers Charter be approved.




Supporting documents: