Payments to Foster Parents and Supported Lodging Providers

Avril Williams made this Freedom of Information request to London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Barking and Dagenham Borough Council,

FIRST. Please can you quantify your Council's expenditure during the financial year 2010-2011 on EACH of the following items, (i.e SEPARATELY). Please include Payments made via Agencies, as well as Payments made direct, but do NOT include Agency Fees. Please do NOT just send me a breakdown of the Council's total expenditure - because each of England and Wales' 174 County, County Borough, Metropolitan Borough and Unitary Authoriities HAS ITS OWN SYSTEM - with 'categories' which can be totally meaningless to outsiders.

1. Foster Child Maintenance, Holiday, Birthday, Christmas, Initial Clothing, School Uniform, Education/Activities, Disability, Cultural, Dietary, Life Story Book, Hospital Gift, Additional Heating, Exceptional Wear and Tear, and all other Allowances paid by your particular Council

2. Foster Parent and Supported Lodging Provider Fees, (various aliases), Enhancements, Bonuses, Disturbance Allowances and all other Allowances paid by your particular Council.

3. Grants to Foster Parents and Supported Lodging Providers for Furniture, Equipment, House Extensions, Bigger Cars, etc.

4. Foster Parent and Supported Lodging Provider Expenses, eg, Mileage, Public Transport Fares, Babysitters, Education Course/Exam Fees, Telephone Costs, Computer, Software and Internet Costs, Entertaining Foster Children's Family and Friends, Prospective Adoptive Parents etc.

(Above lists based on information received during a past survey)

SECOND. How many Foster Parent and Support Lodging Provider
households were involved?

THIRD. What percentage of their Incomes does your Council expect over 16 year old Foster Children to give Foster Parents and Supported Lodging Providers towards their Board and Lodge, when -

1. They are in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance

2. They are in paid employment.

FOURTH. At what age must Foster Children under your Council's jurisdiction take full financial responsibility for their own upkeep because the Care Order has expired and the Council no longer contributes to their Maintenance? 18? Or older?

Yours faithfully,

Avril Williams

Freedom of Information, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

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An officer of the council will shortly be in touch with you.


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Corporate Complaints Team, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Avril Williams

Email:
[FOI #79576 email]

2^nd Floor, Roycraft House
15 Linton Road
Barking
IG11 8HE

Reference: LBBD/55298
Date: 11^th July 2011

Dear Avril Williams

Thank you for your e-mail received on 11 July 2011 requesting information
regarding Payments to Foster Parents and Supported Lodging Providers.

I have sent your request to Janet Ryan (Adult & Community Services) in the
Children's Services who will arrange for the information to be provided
to you no later than 08 August 2011.

Whilst it is the Council's policy to provide information wherever
possible, I need to advise you that there are a number of exemptions under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These may prevent me from releasing
all or some of the information you have asked for. You will, however be
informed if this is the case and why.

Yours sincerely

Remi Ahmed (Complaint Co-ordinator)

Complaints Officer

Phone: 020 8227 5788
Email: [Barking and Dagenham Borough Council request email]
Fax: 020 8227 2471
Mincom: 020 8227 5984

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professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are
not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately
on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your
computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or
disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

Ryan Janet, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

1 Attachment

Dear Avril Williams

Freedom of Information LBBD/55298

FIRST. Please can you quantify your Council's expenditure during

     the financial year 2010-2011 on EACH of the following
items, (i.e.

     SEPARATELY). Please include Payments made via Agencies,
as well as

     Payments made direct, but do NOT include Agency Fees.
Please do NOT

     just send me a breakdown of the Council's total
expenditure -

     because each of England and Wales' 174 County, County
Borough,

     Metropolitan Borough and Unitary Authorities HAS ITS OWN
SYSTEM -

     with 'categories' which can be totally meaningless to
outsiders.

    

     1. Foster Child Maintenance, Holiday, Birthday,
Christmas, Initial

     Clothing, School Uniform, Education/Activities,
Disability,

     Cultural, Dietary, Life Story Book, Hospital Gift,
Additional

     Heating, Exceptional Wear and Tear, and all other
Allowances paid

     by your particular Council

    

     2. Foster Parent and Supported Lodging Provider Fees,
(various

     aliases), Enhancements, Bonuses, Disturbance Allowances
and all

     other Allowances paid by your particular Council.

    

     3. Grants to Foster Parents and Supported Lodging
Providers for

     Furniture, Equipment, House Extensions, Bigger Cars, etc.

    

     4. Foster Parent and Supported Lodging Provider Expenses,
eg,

     Mileage, Public Transport Fares, Babysitters, Education
Course/Exam

     Fees, Telephone Costs, Computer, Software and Internet
Costs,

     Entertaining Foster Children's Family and Friends,
Prospective

     Adoptive Parents etc.

FOSTERING RESPONSE:

1. Foster child maintenance: see fostering allowance breakdown for each
age range. (Grid below).

Holiday : £200.00 per child per year (all ages)

Birthday: £50.00 per child (all ages)

Christmas £50.00 per child (all ages)

Initial Clothing: Discretionary - depending on age of child and items
required.

School Uniform: Top up of uniform over the year - from clothing allowance

Change of school - **Jo we need to discuss. Used to be funded -it's my
understanding from CMT.

This has been coming back to fostering. All in-house carers, I have spoken
to have agreed to use clothing money - but was not happy. IFA's have
contacted me, requesting funding for children moving to secondary school.
For sake of parity - if in-house carer do not get a grant - should we be
giving grants to IFA's?

Education activities: See below (grid) education allowance for various
age range

Cultural: No allowance

Dietary: Not in finance policy - but would make allowance if need arises

Life Story Book: No allowance.

Additional Heating: No allowance.

Exceptional wear and tear: No allowance.

Disability: Carers are paid enhance rate as per finance policy - depending
on needs of child.

Enhanced fees may be agreed by the Divisional Director Safeguarding &
Rights in respect of children with complex and special needs deemed to be
hard to place. These will paid based on an enhancement report to be
provided by the supervising social worker outlining the basis for payment
of enhancement. These will vary and will be set at a percentage of the
fostering allowances outlined above.

Age General Pocket Clothing Hobbies Education Travel Total
Range Allowances Money
(savings)
inc maint.
and foster
care fee
0-4 £250.00 £6.00 £16 £5.50 £5.50 £15.50 £298.50
(£3.50)
5-10 £300.00 £11.50 £22.50 £12.5 £12.50 £15.50 £374.50
+
(£4.50)
11-18 £350.00 £26.00 £24 £18.5 £20.50 £15.50 £454.50
+
(£9.50)

Furniture and Equipment: Equipment for babies (push chair, cot etc) paid
for by Fostering Team. Furniture for CiC bedroom paid for by Fostering
Team.

House extension, house extension: Currently no allowance.

Mileage: F/C paid a travel allowance, should carer exceed £15.00 per
week allowance, then fostering will pay the excess. F/c will keep log of
mileage and submit mileage sheet for payment. 45p per mile.

Babysitters: Should carers need respite provision for any reason
(holidays, family events, days/nights out with friends etc),then fostering
will find alternate carer for children - may be for few hours or
overnights.

Education Course Exam fee: LBBD offer an intensive training package which
include independent trainers paid or by the fostering team. Consortium
also buy in independent specialist training. Did offer previously - NVQ
(stopped in 2008).

Telephone, internet etc: inclusive in foster carers fee/expenses.

Entertaining Foster children family and friends expense: None

Adoption Response

The  expenses are a cumulative amount.

The figure below covers introduction costs (fares/petrol, food,
entertainment), settling in costs (cots, buggies, etc), plus Court fees.

April 2010 - March 2011

£14,634.42

    

    

     SECOND. How many Foster Parent and Support Lodging
Provider

     households were involved?

    

     THIRD. What percentage of their Incomes does your Council
expect

     over 16 year old Foster Children to give Foster Parents
and

     Supported Lodging Providers towards their Board and
Lodge, when -

    

     1. They are in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance

    

     2. They are in paid employment.

    

     FOURTH. At what age must Foster Children under your
Council's

     jurisdiction take full financial responsibility for their
own

     upkeep because the Care Order has expired and the Council
no longer

     contributes to their Maintenance? 18? Or older?

    

Please see attached for the remaining information.

If you are not satisfied with the way that I have dealt with your request
you can make a complaint by writing to the Corporate Complaints Team, Room
104, Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7HE Alternatively you can
make your complaint on-line at [1]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk or you can
e-mail your complaint to [2][email address].

If you are still not satisfied, after following our Corporate Complaints
procedure, you can take your complaint to the Information Commissioner.
Full details of how to do this will be made available on request.

Janet Ryan | Complaints and Information Team Manager, Members Case
Officer for Children, Adult and Community Services.

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Room 218 | Barking Town Hall |
Barking | Essex | IG11 7LU

Phone: 020 8227 3636 | Fax: 020 8227 2156

Email: janet.ryan[3]@lbbd.gov.uk | [4]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk

Working together for a better borough that is safe, clean, fair and
respectful,

prosperous and healthy, and where our young people are inspired and
successful.

P Protect the environment and save trees; please only print if essential

.

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees
only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal
professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are
not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately
on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your
computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or
disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

References

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1. http://www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk/
http://www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk/

Dear Ryan Janet,

I want your Council's TOTAL ANNUAL expenditure on each of the Categories listed.

Can you please also take my questions re Foster Children/Former Foster Children aged 16-21 seriously.

I'm asking relevant questions of each of England and Wales' 174 County, County Borough, Metropolitan Borough and Unitary Authority Counils

Yours sincerely,

A Williams, (BA)

Dear Barking and Dagenham Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Barking and Dagenham Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Payments to Foster Parents and Supported Lodging Providers'.

In reply to my questions your Council has sent me; -

1. A LOT OF SCRIPT

2. VERY LITTLE OF THE INFORMATION THAT I REQUESTED.

Could a Review please be carried out by someone who thinks logically and hence understands what I want.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/pa...

Yours faithfully,

A Williams

Corporate Complaints Team, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Williams,

 

Please see the attached document.

 

Kind regards

The Complaints & Freedom of Information Team

.

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees
only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal
professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are
not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately
on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your
computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or
disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

Finn Veronica, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Avril,

I have reviewed your FOI response (LBBD/55298) and have been provided with
the following information:

First -  I have been informed that it would be impossible for us to give
you the exact figures as you have requested as transaction descriptions
are recorded as individual foster carer initials rather than what the
payments are actually for. I have however been provided with the following
foster care allowance information that may be helpful:

Age   General Allowance     Pocket Money (Savings)   Clothing   
Hobbies    Education     Travel       Total

        for carer      

0-4      £250                             £6
(£3.50)                         £16           £5.50      
£5.50             £15.50          £298.50

4-10    £300                             £11.50
(£4.50)                  £22.50      £12.50     £12.50          
£15.50    £374.50

11-18  £350                             £26
(£9.50)                       £24            £18.50   
£20.50            £18.50    £454.50

Festival allowance and birthday allowance are both £50 regardless of age.

We do consider enhanced payments if a carer has a very complex child e.g.
with high level of disabilities, but these cases are rare and individually
assessed.  No other enhancements or bonuses are paid.  We also pay initial
clothing grants if a child comes into care with no or minimal clothing -
each case is assessed individually.

We do pay for equipment for carers e.g. stair gates, bedroom furniture,
buggies etc.

We do not give grants to foster carers in any form or provide house
extensions.

We do provide a start up grant for children who are adopting in some cases
- usually sibling groups.

We do not pay any other payments for any of the other items listed in the
request. 

Supported Lodging (SL) fee is £152 per week for the carer.  The young
person is also entitled to the clothing allowance and birthday and
festival allowance.  They also receive the equivalent of Income Support if
they are not claiming benefits.  SL arrangements are very rare.  Children
either remain in the foster placement until 18 or move into a 16+ unit
where the arrangements are different. 

Second – Currently we have 105 in private agency placements and 214 in
in-house placements.  We current only have 7 SL carers.

Third - We have no young people in receipt of Job Seekers or employed in
SL arrangements - they are in education.  We would not expect a
contribution to the placement, but they would not receive any subsistence
money from us.

Fourth - Most young people take responsibility for themselves at 18 when
the care order expires and we have no further financial contributions. 
Exceptions are:

- young people in further/higher education (pay travel, equipment and some
course fees).  However, expect young people to take student loans and
anything else available to all young people.  Pay a bursary of £200 to
each young person at university (for whole course not each year). 

- young people who have special needs but do not meet criteria for service
from Adults' Services.  May need additional support packages to ease them
into independent living (time limited) 

I trust that I have answered your review satisfactorily.  If however, you
remain dissatisfied you can request for the Information Commissioner to
consider your review.  Further information can be found at
[1]www.ico.org.uk.

Kind Regards

Veronica Finn Complaints and Information Officer, Children, Adults and
Community Services

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Room 218 | Barking Town Hall |
Barking | Essex | IG11 7LU

Phone: 020 8227 2405 | Fax: 020 8227 2156

Email: [email address] | Web: www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/barkinganddagenham | Twitter:
[2]http://twitter.com/lbbdcouncil

Building a better life for all

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E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees
only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal
professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are
not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately
on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your
computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or
disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/
2. http://twitter.com/lbbdcouncil

Ryan Janet, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Williams

 

I have been asked by the Information Commissioners Office to send to you a
copy of the letter that I have send on to them.

 

I hope this concludes your complaint in regards of your Freedom of
Information request, if however you still remain unsatisfied please liaise
with the ICO caseworker.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further
assistance.

 

Kind Regards  

 

Janet Ryan |  Complaints and Information Team Manager, Members Case
Officer for Children, Adult and Community Services.

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Room 218 | Barking Town Hall |
Barking | Essex | IG11 7LU

 

Phone: 020 8227 3636 | Fax: 020 8227 2156

Email: janet.ryan[1]@lbbd.gov.uk | [2]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk

Facebook: [3]www.facebook.com/barkinganddagenham | Twitter:
[4]http://twitter.com/lbbdcouncil

 

Building a better life for all

 

P Protect the environment and save trees; please only print if essential

 

  

 

.

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees
only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal
professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are
not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately
on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your
computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or
disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk/
3. http://www.facebook.com/barkinganddagenham
4. http://twitter.com/lbbdcouncil

Avril Williams left an annotation ()

I had to go to the Information Commissioner to get what little information this Council eventually provided.