Essex County Council Fostering service is launching its new fee structure today which significantly increases its fees, support and training package for foster carers.
This exciting new change will allow fostering to become a more financially viable option for people across Essex and brings the county into line with fees paid by neighbouring local authorities and independent fostering agencies.
The increased fees, when combined with the weekly allowance which foster carers receive for each child in their care, mean that from today, fosters carers could receive up to £479 a week for each child they care for. Foster carers on the specialist therapeutic scheme will receive up to £579 a week.
As well as increased fees, foster carers will also benefit from an increased support and training. Support will include dedicated resources to manage initial enquiries, specialist therapeutic support for all foster carers, clinical psychologists and mental health coordinators in each local area of the county and respite and peer support for foster carers.
Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “We have seen a lot of interest in our new offer and applicants have been keen to explore the increased levels of support that Essex now offers to Foster Carers.
We know that stable foster placements provide the best experience for children in care and this investment in our in-house fostering service allows us to continue to support carers to provide the best outcomes for local children.
Demand is increasing and we need more local carers so we can meet the needs of children in Essex to provide well-matched placements for our young people.”
As part of this development, Essex County Council Fostering service will also be launching the Oasis Network – a new support scheme for foster carers providing support, respite and advice directly from an experienced carer or mentor. They are currently recruiting Oasis Network carers and mentors for the Essex quadrants of North, South, Mid and West.
Earlier this month, the Oasis Network held an event to introduce the service and its objectives. The event was also live streamed on Facebook Live to provide access to those who couldn’t attend and you can watch the event online
For more information about the new scheme and to find out how to register your interest to become a foster carer please call 0800 801 530.