Fee Paid Fostering Scheme

Northern Trust

This scheme seeks to recruit foster carers with the time, skills and experience to offer matched short and/or long term foster homes to children with more complex needs. There are two schemes which offer foster carers fees of £13,000 and £18,000 per annum, in addition to normal fostering expenses.

1. Potential carers should have direct experience of working with children and young people, either in a parenting capacity or through life / work experience. The home should have ample physical space to accommodate placements and carers should have the time available to meet the needs of the matched child.

2. Payment will consist of £13,000 per annum and is not dependent on the carer having a child in placement. In exceptional circumstances where more than one child is placed within the scheme, consideration will be given for an increased payment.

3. Where a child is placed, the carer will receive foster care allowances appropriate to the age and status of the child in addition to the annual fee referred to above.

4. Carers may be requested to look after up to a maximum of 3 children, within their chosen age group. Age and number of children in each placement will be dependant upon the individual carer’s circumstances and the Trust will regulate this through the Foster Care Registration Panel.

5. The placement of children with the carer will be matched to the situation and circumstances that exist for the carer. This will take into account existing children in placement and their presenting challenges.

6. Placements can be either short or long term dependent on the child’s circumstances and Care Plan. No placement should take place without full information being shared with the carers following a matching meeting.

7. There will be an expectation by the Trust that carers approved to the scheme will attend relevant post approval training.

8. The Trust will provide home, contents and public liability insurance.

9. Carers will be offered a comprehensive training and support package that will include:
a) On approval carers are registered with Fostering Network who are available to provide independent training, advice and support.
b) Post approval training needs will be identified through the supervising social worker and ongoing review at the Foster Care Review / Registration Panel.
c) Each carer will have a lsupervising social worker who will support them by way of at least a monthly visit.
d) Where required, the Trust’s Intensive Support Services Team will provide additional support.
e) Access to specialist services includes Looked After Children Psychology Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Educational Support Services.
f) Support is available to approved carers on a 24/7 basis.
g) Respite services will be agreed as appropriate depending on the assessed need of each individual child.

10. Carers will be expected to work with the Agency and the agreed Care Plan, which is likely to include assisting with contact arrangements.

11. They should be able to evidence a range of skills and abilities, which should equipment them to meet the more complex needs of children requiring a placement under this scheme.

12. Carers will be reviewed annually at the Fostering Panel. This will involve the carers’ attendance at their review when contributions from placing social workers, the supervising social worker, and foster carers’ birth children will be considered alongside their own contribution.

13. A Service Level Agreement should be completed and signed by the Trust and the carers are the outset of their registration and will be subject to review. Approved foster carers will receive:
- Training  Support
- Foster Care Support Services
- Access to Psychological Services
- 24hr social work support
- Emergency Out of Hours Service

For more information contact: 0300 123 1155 or email: foster4.nt@northerntrust.hscni.net