April 24, 2019 2.42 pm This story is over 32 months old

Council proposes £2k retention payments to foster carers

The council wants to encourage more people to become foster carers

Lincolnshire County Council will propose introducing retention payments for foster carers of up to £2,000 a year.

The authority will table the measure in an effort to recruit more people into fostering and retain those already registered.

As part of the policy, all carers would be paid an annual one-off payment if they can demonstrate skills, experience and pass a yearly review.

Currently in the county, there are 298 fostering households and 445 children in foster care.

Lincolnshire County Council sign outside head offices on Newland, Lincoln. Picture: Calvin Robinson

Now, the authority said it needs to offer more to carers in order to compete in a “very competitive market”.

The amount paid in retention payments would depend on training, an agreed amount of days fostering and the experience of each carer.

Those with one to five years experience would receive £500 a year, six to 10 would be paid £1,000 and those with 10 years ore more would be given £2,000.

The authority said the plan to offer retention payments would cost £241,000 to implement and would be met within its budget.

Lincolnshire county councillor Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services. Picture: Daniel Jaines.

A report on the proposal will be brought to the council’s executive on May 17 and officers will recommend approval of the payments.

Councillor Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at the county council, said the proposal would help to encourage more people to become carers.

“There is a well documented national shortage of almost 9,000 foster carers across the country,” she said.

“Our proposed retention payment aims to recognise long service and the commitment of Lincolnshire’s existing foster carers and will hopefully encourage more people to consider applying to be a foster carer.

“The retention payment enhances the support we already provide to those foster carers who are committed to working with us in caring for children in need of loving homes.

“We have an extremely effective fostering recruitment strategy in Lincolnshire, which has attracted 30 new foster carers in the last year. ”

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