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Derby City Children's Social Care Procedures

7.12 Payment for Skills

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter relates to fostering service payment for skills scheme.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION, GUIDANCE AND INFORMATION

Fostering Services:-National Minimum Standards – Standard 20

This chapter was added to the manual in September 2022.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Pathways of Learning
  3. Levels
  4. Training Passport
  5. Payment for Skills Panel
  6. Exceptions
  7. Short Break Carers
  8. Child and Parent Placements

1. Introduction

Derby City fostering service has a payment for skills scheme for foster carers. The purpose of this scheme is to aid recruitment and retention of foster carers and reward them financially for their contribution to the fostering service. Foster carers are expected to attend training allowing them to gain skills and underpinning knowledge to achieve the best outcomes for the children/young people they care for.

2. Pathways of Learning

A pathway of mandatory training and optional training is set out for carers. There are four Levels A-D in the pathway and each level is attached to a payment.

There is clear guidance on timescales to complete the training. One foster carer from each home needs to attend the training; there is an expectation that any relevant information from the course is read by and discussed with other carers in the home. Ideally for households with two foster carers they both need to complete paediatric first aid.

When carers have completed the mandatory training for the level they are on and do not wish to progress to a higher level, they still need to maintain their learning and evidence annually by completing the maintenance section in their training passports.

3. Levels

Prior to approval carers need to have completed Skills to Foster training, met National Minimum Standards in their form F Carers will also have the opportunity to attend 3 courses:-

  • Recording Skills;
  • Contact;
  • Introduction to Safeguarding.

When carers have been approved, they need to attend induction day (virtual/face-face). Carers will have 12 months to complete their Training Support and Development Standards (18 months for family and friend carers) and have them verified.

For foster carers who commit to training, complete their Training Support and Development standards and had them verified can move to Level A two months after their annual review.

Every two years carers Training Passport will be presented to the Payment for Skills panel, for foster carers who commit to training and development a decision will be made about progression up to the next level.

Foster carers who can only foster children 0-2 years will be unable to proceed past Level B unless they can extend their approval to 0-18 years with more complex needs.

In cases a carer takes on a complex level above their approved level – additional allowances may be available.

Level A

  • The foster carer will be available to care for the child/children as stated at their approval, is flexible to be able to fully meet the needs of the child/ren in placement for time out of school, to attend appointments with the child or transporting to and from contact when required;
  • The foster carer is expected to give at least 4 weeks written notice of ending a placement;
  • If the child ends the placement by e.g., by absconding, refusing to return, the foster carer will receive up to 4 weeks fee at Level A after the child has moved from the placement. If the placement ends because of child protection concerns relating to the carer, no fee will be payable once the child has moved from the placement;
  • The foster carer will have attended the mandatory Induction day;
  • The foster carer will have completed all the mandatory training courses as detailed at Level A in the training Passport;

    NB. All Mandatory training to be refreshed every 5 years and every 3 years for Paediatric First aid;
  • The foster carer will have attended any additional training course identified by them or their SSW this is recorded in their passport;
  • The written overview of learning within the Training Passport will have been completed by the foster carer and SSW;
  • The foster carer will have attended a minimum of 2 support groups in the last 12 months;
  • The foster carer will have had 100% of their Training Support and Development Standards completed and signed off by their supervising social worker (SSW). (60% will have been signed off by their assessing social worker prior to transfer to a SSW in the support team.) TSD standards need to be verified;
  • The foster carer is expected to maintain clear, current and secure records on the children in placement which have been seen and signed off by the supervising social worker. They are also expected to evidence that these records are stored securely, and that the storage reflects the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • All records pertaining to a child who has left placement to be returned to the fostering service;
  • The foster carer will have had a successful annual review and continue to meet the National Minimum standards in foster carer;
  • The Supervising Social Worker for the foster carer will attend fostering payment for skills panel to present the application for Level A;
  • The foster carer will supply their updated training Passport evidencing their training and development record for the panel;
  • Level A will be awarded if the fostering review panel have evidence that the foster carer has achieved the required level of training and experience. The requirements are detailed within the Training Passport;
  • Fee level A is paid to the foster carer for each child in their care;
  • To maintain Level A, foster carers must provide evidence in their Training Passport that they are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge by booking further training and e-learning or evidencing that they have undertaken appropriate reading, study or gained experience in other ways. This further development will have been evidenced in their annual review report to fostering panel and Quality Assured by the fostering team manager;
  • The PFS’s panel will consider the foster carers maintenance of level A one year after it has been awarded and either award the maintenance level or give a period of 6 months to attend required training if needed, before a fee level reduction comes in to affect;
  • The foster carer will be notified in writing of the decision of the PFS’s panel. Any appeals will be dealt with by the deputy head of service for fostering and their decision is final.

Level B

  • Progression to Level B on the Payment for Skills Pathway will require minimum two years’ experience at Level A;
  • The foster carer will be available to care for the child/children as stated at their approval, is flexible to be able to fully meet the needs of the child/ren in placement for time out of school, to attend appointments with the child or transporting to and from contact when required;
  • The foster carer is expected to give at least 4 weeks written notice of ending a placement;
  • If the child ends the placement by e.g., by absconding, refusing to return, the foster carer will receive up to 4 weeks fee at Level B after the child has moved from the placement. If the placement ends because of child protection concerns relating to the carer, no fee will be payable once the child has moved from the placement;
  • The foster carer will have completed all the mandatory training courses as detailed at Level B in the training Passport;

    NB. All Mandatory training to be refreshed every 5 years and every 3 years for Paediatric First aid;
  • The foster carer will have attended any additional training course identified by them or their SSW this is recorded in their passport;
  • The written overview of learning within the Training Passport will have been completed by the foster carer and SSW;
  • The foster carer will be able to evidence that they continue to update their safeguarding knowledge, and this must include internet safety. This can be achieved through reading, research or self-directed learning;
  • The foster carer will evidence through their updated passport, that they have a commitment to further training beyond the mandatory courses. Evidence of further training either booked or attended will be required for progression to Level B;
  • The foster carer will have attended a minimum of 2 support groups in the last 12 months;
  • To be eligible for progression to Level B, the foster carer will have completed 100% of the Training, Support and Development Standards and had these verified at the TSD panel;
  • The foster carer is expected to maintain clear, current and secure records on the children in placement which have been seen and signed off by the supervising social worker. They are also expected to evidence that these records are stored securely, and that the storage reflects the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • All records pertaining to a child who has left placement to be returned to the fostering service;
  • The foster carer will continue to meet the required National Minimum standards in foster Care. This will have been detailed in the foster carers annual review report and they will have been successfully reapproved as a foster carer at fostering panel with an ADM approval following the annual review;
  • The Supervising social worker for the foster carer will attend fostering payment for skills panel to present the application for Level B;
  • The foster carer will supply their updated training Passport evidencing their training and development record. Level B will be awarded if the fostering review panel have evidence that the foster carer has achieved the required level of training and experience. The requirements are detailed within the Training Passport;
  • Fee level B is paid to the foster carer for each child in their care;
  • To maintain Level B, foster carers must provide evidence in their Training Passport that they are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge by booking and attending further training and e-learning or evidencing that they have undertaken appropriate reading, study or gained experience in other ways. This further development will have been evidenced in their annual review report to fostering panel and Quality Assured by the fostering team manager;
  • The PFS’s panel will consider the foster carers maintenance of level B one year after it has been awarded and either award the maintenance level or give a period of 6 months to attend required training if needed, before a fee level reduction comes in to affect;
  • The foster carer will be notified in writing of the decision of the PFS’s panel. Any appeals will be dealt with by the deputy head of service for fostering and their decision is final.

Level C

  • Progression to Level C on the Payment for Skills Pathway will require minimum two years’ experience at Level B;
  • The foster carer will be available to care for the child/children as stated at their approval, is flexible to be able to fully meet the needs of the child/ren in placement for time out of school, to attend appointments with the child or transporting to and from contact when required;
  • The foster carer is expected to give at least 4 weeks written notice of ending a placement;
  • If the child ends the placement by e.g., by absconding, refusing to return, the foster carer will receive up to 4 weeks fee at Level C after the child has moved from the placement. If the placement ends because of child protection concerns relating to the carer, no fee will be payable once the child has moved from the placement;
  • The foster carer will have completed all the mandatory training courses as detailed at Level C in the training Passport;

    NB. All Mandatory training to be refreshed every 5 years and every 3 years for Paediatric First aid;
  • The foster carer will have attended any additional training course identified by them or their SSW this is recorded in their passport;
  • The written overview of learning within the Training Passport will have been completed by the foster carer and SSW;
  • The foster carer will be able to evidence that they continue to update their safeguarding knowledge, and this must include internet safety. This can be achieved through reading, research or self-directed learning;
  • The foster carer will evidence through their updated passport, that they have a commitment to further training beyond the mandatory courses. Evidence of further training either booked or attended will be required for progression to Level C;
  • The foster carer will have attended a minimum of 2 support groups in the last 12 months;
  • The Foster Carer will need to evidence their contribution to fostering services: Mentoring of new foster carers, supporting new foster carers - training and development standards, Recruitment /publicity Events Facilitating training – activity;
  • The foster carer is expected to maintain clear, current and secure records on the children in placement which have been seen and signed off by the supervising social worker. They are also expected to evidence that these records are stored securely, and that the storage reflects the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • All records pertaining to a child who has left placement to be returned to the fostering service;
  • The foster carer will continue to meet the required National Minimum standards in foster Care. This will have been detailed in the foster carers annual review report and they will have been successfully reapproved as a foster carer at fostering panel with an ADM approval following the annual review;
  • The Supervising social worker for the foster carer will attend fostering payment for skills panel to present the application for Level C;
  • The foster carer will supply their updated training Passport evidencing their training and development record. Level B will be awarded if the fostering review panel have evidence that the foster carer has achieved the required level of training and experience. The requirements are detailed within the Training Passport;
  • Fee level C is paid to the foster carer for each child in their care;
  • To maintain Level C, foster carers must provide evidence in their Training Passport that they are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge by booking and attending further training and e-learning or evidencing that they have undertaken appropriate reading, study or gained experience in other ways. This further development will have been evidenced in their annual review report to fostering panel and Quality Assured by the fostering team manager

The PFS’s panel will consider the foster carers maintenance of level C one year after it has been awarded and either award the maintenance level or give a period of 6 months to attend required training if needed, before a fee level reduction comes in to affect.

The foster carer will be notified in writing of the decision of the PFS’s panel. Any appeals will be dealt with by the deputy head of service for fostering and their decision is final.

Level D

  • Progression to Level D on the Payment for Skills Pathway will require minimum two years’ experience at Level C;
  • The foster carer will be available to care for the child/children as stated at their approval, is flexible to be able to fully meet the needs of the child/ren in placement for time out of school, to attend appointments with the child or transporting to and from contact when required;
  • The foster carer is expected to give at least 4 weeks written notice of ending a placement;
  • If the child ends the placement by e.g., by absconding, refusing to return, the foster carer will receive up to 4 weeks fee at Level D after the child has moved from the placement. If the placement ends because of child protection concerns relating to the carer, no fee will be payable once the child has moved from the placement;
  • The foster carer will have completed all the mandatory training courses as detailed at Level D in the training Passport;

    NB. All Mandatory training to be refreshed every 5 years and every 3 years for Paediatric First aid;
  • The foster carer will have attended any additional training course identified by them or their SSW this is recorded in their passport;
  • The written overview of learning within the Training Passport will have been completed by the foster carer and SSW;
  • The foster carer will be able to evidence that they continue to update their safeguarding knowledge, and this must include internet safety. This can be achieved through reading, research or self-directed learning;
  • The foster carer will evidence through their updated passport, that they have a commitment to further training beyond the mandatory courses. Evidence of further training either booked or attended will be required for progression to Level D;
  • The foster carer will have attended a minimum of 2 support groups in the last 12 months;
  • The Foster Carer will need to evidence their contribution to fostering services: Mentoring of new foster carers, supporting new foster carers - training and development standards, Recruitment /publicity Events Facilitating training – activity;
  • The foster carer is expected to maintain clear, current and secure records on the children in placement which have been seen and signed off by the supervising social worker. They are also expected to evidence that these records are stored securely, and that the storage reflects the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • All records pertaining to a child who has left placement to be returned to the fostering service;
  • The foster carer will continue to meet the required National Minimum standards in foster Care. This will have been detailed in the foster carers annual review report and they will have been successfully reapproved as a foster carer at fostering panel with an ADM approval following the annual review;
  • The Supervising social worker for the foster carer will attend fostering payment for skills panel to present the application for Level D;
  • The foster carer will supply their updated training Passport evidencing their training and development record. Level B will be awarded if the fostering review panel have evidence that the foster carer has achieved the required level of training and experience. The requirements are detailed within the Training Passport;
  • Fee level D is paid to the foster carer for each child in their care.;
  • To maintain Level D, foster carers must provide evidence in their Training Passport that they are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge by booking and attending further training and e-learning or evidencing that they have undertaken appropriate reading, study or gained experience in other ways. This further development will have been evidenced in their annual review report to fostering panel and Quality Assured by the fostering team manager;
  • The PFS’s panel will consider the foster carers maintenance of level D year annually and either award the maintenance level or give a period of 6 months to attend required training if needed, before a fee level reduction comes in to affect;
  • The foster carer will be notified in writing of the decision of the PFS’s panel. Any appeals will be dealt with by the deputy head of service for fostering and their decision is final.

At level A carers will receive £80 per week for each foster child in the household. This will increase by £50 at each level

Level A - £80 per child -per week

Level B - £130 per child- per week

Level C - £180 per child – per week

Level D £230 per child – per week

For carers who are receiving a payment level under the old scheme the old payment will be honoured whilst the children/young person is in their care. Carers will need to evidence to the payment for skills panel that they meet the requirements for the new equivalent level in their passport. Payment for skills panel will make an assessment that this is the correct level.

Foster carers will receive their agreed payment level until the child/young person in their care 18th birthday. If a carer has a young person on a staying put arrangement the additional payment will be paid from the leaving care service not the payment for skills scheme.

4. Training Passport

Every fostering household will have a training passport clearly outlining expectations of carers at all the levels. It is the carers responsibility to complete the passport and share with their supervising social worker who will offer advice and guidance in completing it and signing off the training.

Carer’s passport will be reviewed at Payment for Skills Panel two months after carers first annual review then carers will be booked into the payment for skills panel every two years - two months after their annual review.

There is an expectation that carers and supervising social workers complete the overview of training in the passport for the Payment for Skills Panel members to read – no decision about progression/maintenance will be made without the overview.

Maintenance of training will be monitored at carers annual review

5. Payment for Skills Panel

Payment for skills panel meet monthly - the panel members are fostering managers and Derby City Council workforce learning and development team , fostering clerical support officer.

Carers need to have their Training support and Development standard Verified prior to their first Payment for skills panel to allow them to progress to Level A.

After carers progress to Level A supervising social workers will need to present their carers passport every two years to the payment for skills panel. From the evidence in the passport the panel a decision will be made if the carer progress to the next level remains on the same level or drops a level if training has not been maintained.

6. Exceptions

There may be circumstances where the payment for skills panel will consider an application from a carer to be placed higher on the fee scheme without progressing chronologically through the various levels. This may be when a foster carer transfers from another fostering provider and can evidence that they have acquired the necessary experience and training to warrant a higher fee than the foundation level.

Short Break Carers are not part of the payment for Skills Scheme.

8. Child and Parent Placements

For carers providing Child and Parent placements this will be outside the Payment for Skills scheme. When the placement ends carers will revert to be paid on their agreed level.