Creating placement choice - ideas from practice
DERBY CITY, DERBYSHIRE, LEICESTER CITY, LEICESTERSHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, NOTTINGHAM CITY and NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 1 commissioned Barnardo’s to assist them in recruiting foster carers in that region. They have also worked together to construct service level agreements with a small number of independent fostering agencies involving agreed inspection and accreditation arrangements to increase placement choice, quality and value for money.
SOUTHAMPTON 1 CITY COUNCIL'S HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE DIRECTORATE commissioned tenders from independent fostering agencies for 10 foster placements. They found that the previous spot purchasing arrangements were expensive, uncoordinated and lacking in any quality assurance mechanisms. SEDGEMOOR independent fostering provider was selected following an extensive process of scrutiny of policy and procedures, and interview. This process was driven by considerations of quality, cost and partnership working. Joint staff groups manage and deliver the service and local authority staff have been seconded to the agency.
CHRYSALIS CARE 1, an independent fostering agency, has entered into an agreement with one London borough and is negotiating with another to recruit independent fostering agency foster carers in those authorities, which will then be available to offer local placements. This initiative was developed to avoid London children from the two local authorities being placed long distances from home.
WALTHAM FOREST and WESTMINSTER 1 are among those authorities which have negotiated the pricing, and procurement, of placements outside the local authority provision.
The Community Placement Scheme 1 is a specialist fostering project for teenagers in Belfast. It was established in 1997 as a joint initiative between SOUTH and EAST BELFAST Health and Social Services Trust and Barnardo’s. It offers an alternative to residential care for young people displaying seriously challenging or offending behaviour. It offers intensive support to its foster carers, and its social work staff set out to 'try to make things work and grease the wheels'. The scheme sees carers as partners in this process and treats them with respect.