We, the undersigned, believe that the National Assembly for Wales should ask the Welsh Government to take the following actions to support foster carers:
That foster carers be permitted to be registered with more than one Local Authority , to reduce the money spent unnecessarily by LAs to Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA).
This would enable foster carers who are not being fully utilized by their Local Authority, and have empty rooms i.e. they may be registered to care for two Looked After Children but have only one in placement, to provide places for children from adjoining local authorities where there may be an excess of children coming into Social Services to be Looked After:- this is where the mismatch of funding occurs – whereby if there is no place available with FCs, the LA will outsource the placement to an IFA.
In view of the Williams report, when Councils merge any FCs with availability for space will become available to their adjoining LA, if they were registered to do so. Initial savings ahead of the implementation of local authority mergers a "Dual LA Registration" would further cut costs, and allow for cost effective, quality care for Looked After Children coming into the Care System. For example, if Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen implemented a FCs Dual Registration, it would mean that any child coming in to be Looked After would have double the pool of FCs to be matched with (skills, availability, current placements, ability to transport to school are all part of the matching process), thereby elimination the need for the far more costly use of IFAs.
Lead petitioner: John Watkins
First considered by the Committee:
Number of signatures: 159 online signatures.
Business type: Petition
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
First published: 23/03/2015