Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

Please provide the following information regarding allowances paid to all Foster Carers approved by Stoke on Trent Vulnerable Children & Corporate Parenting Service for 2019:

• Administration of the scheme
• Weekly Maintenance Allowances
• Expenditure covered by the weekly maintenance allowance
• Holidays & Holiday Allowances
• Birthdays Allowances
• Religious Festivals / Christmas Allowances
• Mileage Rates
• Initial set up payments
• Initial clothing allowance
• Cases and Holdalls
• School uniform allowance
• School/Educational trips
• Pocket money
• Encouraging talents and abilities
• Spectacles/contact lenses
• Child care expenses
• Adoption introductions
• Insurance
• Children with Disabilities
• Young People in Employment
• Single parenthood
• Special Payment Schemes
• Tax Payments
• Financial record keeping
• Additional payments
• Loans
• Resolution of difficulties

Where appropriate please state if allowance entitlement is per child or per placement.

Yours faithfully,

Annmarie Carr

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Ms Carr

 

Your request for information ref. SOT75028

 

Thank you for your request for information about foster carer allowances
for 2019.  Your request was received by the Information Rights Team on 14
January 2019.  This is being dealt with under the terms of the appropriate
Information Rights legislation.

 

In some circumstances we may charge for information.  If there is a charge
we will let you know, as you will have to pay it before we deal with your
request.

 

Some information does not have to be released under this legislation.  We
will check the information you have asked for and send you as much as
possible.  If another person or organisation is named in the information,
we may have to ask their opinion before we decide what we can give you.

 

You should expect to receive a response to your request on or before 11
February 2019 in line with the legislation's 20 working day statutory
deadline.

 

For your information we may publish the response to your request on our
City Council's website, which can be found at the following address:
[1]www.stoke.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [2]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent 

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [3][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has published its budget proposals for 2019/20
– and we’d like to hear your views …

Email us at [4][email address]

Go online at stoke.gov.uk/budget2019

 

All comments will be considered before the final budget setting in
February 2019Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless
billing with our new online account at [5]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount -
and access it using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter
reporting in your hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [6]App
Store and on [7]Google Play

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/
2. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
3. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
4. mailto:[email address]
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6. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
7. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Ms Carr

 

Your request for information ref. SOT75028 about foster carer allowances
for 2019

 

We have now considered your request and a copy of the information is
attached below.

 

The information supplied may be used for domestic or journalistic
purposes.  Its use for commercial gain including issuing to the public,
social media or computer blogs may be subject to the issue of a licence
under the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

 

Administration of the scheme

 

Timing of payments - each payment period runs fortnightly from Monday to
Sunday. Remittance advice (‘payment slips’) received on a Friday/Saturday
will be in respect of the fortnight ending that Sunday.  Payments are made
by BACS (Automated Payments). BACS payments allow for personal withdrawals
of cash from the Friday.

 

Allowances will continue to be paid when a child/young person has an
unplanned absence from placement for 3 days or less. There will be a
deduction from this allowance however, when the absence is pre-arranged

Weekly Maintenance Allowances

 

Breakdown of fees currently paid to carers – Maintenance:

 

0 – 4                £129.29 per child

5 – 10              £147.28 per child

11 – 15            £183.33 per child

16 plus             £222.95 per child

 

Skills Payment:

 

Number of children Foster Band 1 Foster Band 2 Foster Band 3
1^st £90 £180 £270
2^nd £10 £20 £30
3^rd £10 £20 £30

Expenditure covered by the weekly maintenance allowance

 

Food (including food appropriate to the child/young person’s culture and
religion plus

any special dietary needs).

School lunch/dinner money.

Clothing and shoes (including new clothes for parties or religious
festivals e.g.

birthdays, Diwali, Eid, Christmas or Easter).

Youth club fees and clothing or uniform required (e.g. scouts or guides).

Nappies.

Self-care (e.g. deodorants, sanitary towels, haircuts and hair products
etc.)

Suitcases and ‘Holdalls’ (it is not acceptable to transport a child’s
belongs in plastic

bags.  Foster carers moving a child on should always ensure a suitcase or
holdall is

provided for them).

Pocket money (please note the Stoke-on-Trent Pocket Money Policy).

Savings.

Toys/books/games or equipment.

All sporting activity fees and equipment costs (except those played at
school which

are covered by the school uniform allowance).

Hobbies and interests (e.g. music, dance).

Subscription to magazines, comics or other clubs.

Treats/outings (including school day trips).

Presents for child/young person’s friends.

Playschool/nursery fees.

Approved child minders.

Household costs (e.g. additional gas and electric, wear and tear of
furniture, carpets,

TV, washing machine, telephone use etc).

Expenses incurred in maintaining contact with the child/young person’s
parents and

siblings, where contact is hosted in the foster placement.

Replacement equipment – bedding, bed sheets, towels, waterproof sheets,
beds,

cots, bedroom furniture, baby equipment (Please see under initial set up
money).

Travel, involving journeys specifically resulting from the fostering task,
other than

those journeys that would fall under the category of ‘normal family life’.

 

Holidays & Holiday Allowances

 

Holiday: payment of two weeks additional fostering allowance, based on age
bands

Birthdays Allowances

 

Birthday: one week additional, based on age band

Religious Festivals / Christmas Allowances

 

One week additional, based on age band.

 

Mileage Rates

 

Initial set up payments

 

Equipment/furniture: households approved to care for babies between 0 to 2
years old will be given a payment of up to £750 depending on their “set up
costs”. Households approved to care for children aged 3 years old and
above will be given a payment of up to £500 depending on their set up
costs.

 

Initial clothing allowance

 

Initial clothing allowance – may be payable at the point of placement if
required. The amount is discretionary.

 

Cases and Holdalls

 

Covered in maintenance allowance.

 

School uniform allowance

 

School clothing allowance – up to £100 if required for primary school and
£150 if required for secondary school.

 

School/Educational Trips

 

Day trips/outings/trips abroad should be budgeted for from the weekly
allowance paid. However, where there is an exceptional trip of significant
expense foster carers may request support to help meet the cost of the
trip. This should be discussed well in advance with the supervising social
worker, who will in turn present the request to the Fostering Principal
Manager for a decision.

 

Pocket money

 

0 – 4                £2.00 per week (to be saved)

5 – 10              £3.00 per week

11 – 15            £4.50 per week

16 plus             £10 per week

 

Encouraging talents and abilities

 

Usual out of school activities will be funded from the fostering
allowances. However where a child or young person has an exceptional
talent or ability e.g. sporting or musical skills, a request can be made
for additional funding to the Fostering Team Principal Manager.
Alternatively, funding could be used from the child’s personal education
allowance. This must be discussed and agreed with the child’s social
worker first.

 

Spectacles/contact lenses

 

In the case of a child who requires glasses or contact lenses, an
additional payment of up to £100 can be claimed once per year. Any
additional costs (e.g. insurances, repairs & cleaning fluids) must be met
from the weekly allowance. Children who require glasses or contact lenses
must be seen by a qualified optometrist and purchases made through a
recognised opticians.

 

Child care expenses

 

A basic expectation of a foster carer’s approval is to attend meetings,
consultations and reviews concerning the child placed with them, whilst
balancing their own family or childminding responsibilities. For this
reason foster carers are encouraged to build up a significant network of
support, with DBS checks undertaken for adults who may be asked to provide
alternative child care. In exceptional circumstances where all alternative
options have been exhausted including any mutual arrangements with other
foster carers and any after school or youth club provision, consideration
may be given to reimbursing the costs associated with accessing approved
child minding, nursery provision, or holiday clubs. This must be discussed
and agreed in advance of any provision being accessed.

 

Adoption introductions

 

When foster carers provide hospitality in their own home as part of
adoption introductions, they can claim a hospitality payment of up to £9
per day, up to a maximum of £45 per week. If they are expected to travel
to support an introduction, mileage or travel expenses can be claimed for.
If further expenses are likely, for example an overnight stay, permission
must be sought from a fostering manager beforehand.

 

Insurance

 

It is the responsibility of the carer to advise their home and contents
insurers that they are fostering. Foster carers needing to make a claim
because of loss or damage caused by a foster child should immediately
check with their own insurance company whether the company will cover the
cost of the claim.

 

If the carer’s own insurance provider provides written confirmation that
they will not cover the cost of the claim, the foster carer should provide
the supervising social worker with written details of the damage/losses
incurred, including the circumstances surrounding this and any quotes
obtained to remedy the situation. The supervising social worker will then
present the matter to a fostering manager who will give consideration to
awarding costs.  Where a claim is made through a foster carer’s own
insurance policy, Stoke-on-Trent City Council will pay the excess incurred
up to a value of £200.

 

Children with Disabilities

 

If a child/young person has special needs, any entitlement to benefits
(e.g. Disability Living Allowance) will not affect the weekly fostering
allowance. Where foster carers receive DLA or any other additional
benefits for a child in their care, they may be asked to give account of
how these payments are being spent, including proof.

 

Young People in Employment

 

Where a child ceases full time education or commences employment, a
placement agreement meeting must be arranged to discuss expenditure.

 

Young people aged 16 and over who are not in employment and education may
be entitled to claim additional benefits that could impact on household
allowances and income.

 

Single parenthood

 

Single carers receive the same allowance as any other carer.

 

Special Payment Schemes

 

Short Breaks or Remand

 

The weekly rate for foster carers approved to provide care under either of
these schemes will be £496.44. Where a child is placed for longer than a
week (7 days), a payment of £273.41 will be made per additional week, plus
the maintenance allowance for the child in consideration of their age.
Where a foster carer provides care for under these schemes for less than a
week, but more than 4 hours, rates will be paid at £70.92, per 24 hour
period, per child. Where a period of care lasts for more than 24 hours, a
foster carer will only qualify for an additional payment of £70.92 per
child, when the child has been in care for more than 4 additional hours
(or 28 hours in total).

 

Tax Payments

 

Foster carers are responsible for paying their own income tax and national
insurance contributions and must contact HM Revenue & Customs to register
themselves as self-employed when they are approved at panel.

 

There is a national agreement regarding tax allowances for approved foster
carers. During the tax year, carers will receive a fixed tax allowance,
dependent upon the child/young person’s age when placed with the carer in
that year. A tax statement will

only be sent to carers if a taxable amount is required to be paid for
payments received above this allowance.

 

The Fostering Network and local HM Revenue and Customs office can provide
full current information on the allowances which can be claimed.

 

Financial record keeping

 

It is important that foster carers budget their weekly payments to ensure
that children/young people’s needs are met.

 

Keeping records will assist foster carers when requesting any
discretionary or exceptional payments as expenditure on the child can then
be accounted for. This is not only important in regards to how allowances
have generally been spent, but also specifically on forms required for
expense claims, pocket money and savings.

 

It is recommended that all foster carers keep a copy of their own
financial records as well as providing copies to the fostering or carers’
payments team.

 

Additional payments

 

Loans

 

In some very exceptional circumstances a financial package for the child
may be approved which could include loans/grants or additional allowances.
This should be to facilitate the interest of the child in placement.
Should you believe you require a loan under the circumstances outlined
above, please speak with your supervising social worker.

 

Resolution of difficulties

 

If a difficulty arises in relation to the payment of allowances, the
foster carer should initially discuss this with their supervising social
worker. If this does not resolve the problem then the matter should be
referred to a Fostering Team Practice Manager. The Principal Manager of
the Fostering Team will be the final arbiter in the first instance.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to: The Information Rights Manager, Information Rights
Team, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Floor 2, Civic Centre, Glebe Street,
ST4 1HH, or email [1][Stoke on Trent City Council request email].

 

If, after contacting us, you are not content with the outcome, you may ask
the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Before doing this, please
see the following link for guidance from the Information Commissioner
relating to how to use your information rights responsibly and
effectively, to enable you to gain the best outcome from the process -
[2]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public.

 

Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have already used our internal review procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123
1113 or you can visit their website at
[3]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

 

You can find details of how we handle your personal information by
visiting [4]www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2  Civic Centre  Glebe Street  Stoke-on-Trent  ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [5][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

Please provide the following information regarding allowances paid to all
Foster Carers approved by Stoke on Trent Vulnerable Children & Corporate
Parenting Service for 2019:

o Administration of the scheme
o Weekly Maintenance Allowances
o Expenditure covered by the weekly maintenance allowance
o Holidays & Holiday Allowances
o Birthdays Allowances
o Religious Festivals / Christmas Allowances

o Mileage Rates

o Initial set up payments

o Initial clothing allowance

o Cases and Holdalls

o School uniform allowance

o School/Educational trips

o Pocket money

o Encouraging talents and abilities

o Spectacles/contact lenses

o Child care expenses

o Adoption introductions

o Insurance

o Children with Disabilities

o Young People in Employment

o Single parenthood

o Special Payment Schemes

o Tax Payments

o Financial record keeping

o Additional payments

o Loans

o Resolution of difficulties

Where appropriate please state if allowance entitlement is per child or
per placement.

Yours faithfully,

Annmarie Carr

 

 

 

 
Manage your council tax online and sign up for paperless billing with our
new online account at [6]www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount - and access it
using the MyStoke app, putting fly-tipping, and litter reporting in your
hands at the touch of a button. Available in the [7]App Store and on
[8]Google Play

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
2. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public
3. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
4. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/dataprotection
5. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
6. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/onlineaccount
7. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-stoke...
8. https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...