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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

LA/ IFA- (hoping NanaNina might know...)

(15 Posts)
NanaNina Tue 12-Mar-13 12:33:52

Hi music - am assuming you work for an IFA already, and if this is the case I am not surprised that your kids are "out of area" because if the LA are up against it and have no "in house" carers they have to take whatever they are offered by an IFA, and if the child's home is in Bristol and the IFA carers are in Leeds, then that's where the child goes, away from family, friends and school if of school age. For neglected/abused kids school is often the only place where they feel safe (whilst still at home) but when moved to fcs it is nice if they can continue at the same school. I would doubt that it is easier to the LA to place a child with an IFA carer, it will almost certainly be because it is a last resort. How gracious of an IFA to re-imburse the LA if they had over charged them!!!

You mention going back the LA again - what sort of experiences did you have because LAs are operating on a shoe string and so this almost certainly affect carers. A friend of mine who is still working in the LA where I worked told me recently that the fostering social workers have been told by snr mgrs that they can only visit fcs once every 3 months.

Cameron had the cheek to say that children must be placed within their own home area.........whilst at the same time supporting IFAs! I don't think the penny has dropped with him about how this is usually impossible. You ask why it is so difficult to get the govt to sort this out and at the risk of repeating myself that thing is, they don't want to sort it out. They are wedded to the idea of privatisation, so they will applaud any private initiative.

Incidentally I think you can get company's accounts on line....I'll have a look later.

musickeepsmesane Tue 12-Mar-13 10:02:15

I am so disappointed sad I haven't had time to go to companies house where you get a better idea of accounts. I got really excited cos I thought I had found one that didn't rip of LA's but paid a decent wage. The lady that I spoke to even said they reimbursed an LA when overcharged!! I am an optimist I suppose or I just believe fairytales. Why the hell is it so difficult to get the govt to sort this out. I am not going to rant, I enjoyed yours yesterday!! I feel a bit stuck tho' cos my kids are out of area and it is 'easier' for the LA to use my agency. It embarrasses me now tho' to say who I work for, I think I will try to LA again now they want us to do permanence.

NanaNina Tue 12-Mar-13 00:17:34

music I went on the Fostering Co-op website and as I suspected I know the Director, unless he has sold the company on to someone else, as that happens sometimes when the original directors have made enough money to retire.

What the website says is quite true "We do not make a profit for sharedholders, businessmen (women even?) or financiers" BUT it doesn't prevent them from paying themselves large salaries. Regardless of the breakdown of figures, are we to believe that the director(s) run this company without paying themselves anything - I don't think so! Do you not think it odd that they don't include payment to the director or directors.

This Co-op and the "sister" organisation "Orange Grove" (who were FOR profit and has now been sold on as the director has made enough money to retire I imagine) were 2 of the first IFAs to place children with newly approved carers. Most of the others at least had the sense to know that LAs would only be asking for placements for very difficult children, and therefore they must have experienced foster carers (who they poached from LAs) to "sell" to the LA.

Can I say that I absolutely understand fcs working for IFAs as they are so much better paid and all sorts of extras for children are included in the costs to the LA, so the children get a better deal, but it means decreased funds for children fostered by LA carers.

At the risk of repeating myself i blame the govt (and the previous one) for encouraging privatisation.

fasparent Mon 11-Mar-13 10:27:16

Like Nannanina been around a long time have adapted too changes over the years. Care system now is becoming so fragmentated its a joke.
All need a overall., Fostercare in Statecontrole and State registerd as in Nursing etc.
The amount of training and ongoing statutary requirements should be one central body within LA's and NHS, with access too all support services, and a National pay structure. Pension etc. Rather being Classed as Self Employed as we are now Private and LA's. Keeping the Family's Ethos intact.
This would take Private salary's compertition out of the aquasion and perhaps
keep children in their area, and becomeing cattle fodder too privatisation.

musickeepsmesane Mon 11-Mar-13 00:46:07

I have copied wording from the fostering co-operative website. Don't just dismiss it without at least looking, complaining about there must be a better way etc.This could be it. Wording below.

We are a registered co-operative

We do not make a profit for shareholders, business men or financiers from fostering children! We maintain common ownership principles and are a committed not for distributed profit organisation. As the only co-operative operating in foster care in the UK, any surplus income we make is re-invested to provide more foster care support, more training and goes towards recruiting more foster carers to give more stable, loving homes to more children.

52% of our income is paid directly to our carers.
24% provides the funding for support groups training and training support costs, instructors, carer transport, catering etc.
24% agency costs - insurance, salaries for Social Workers and staff, office overheads, website, advertising etc.

fasparent Sun 10-Mar-13 14:25:42

Just making a point which way the wind is blowing. Happy with LA's after 37 years and still going strong, Think IFA's should be an Advocate roll in child Care. LA's FOSTER PARENTS. emphasis on Parents not paid staff. Must be a better way forward.
Experienced children running off from private places ending up on our door step, children not connected too us but aking for a home. Tells a story !!!.
Also they speak of flashy car's high lifestyles etc, these children are not behind the door in any way.

lovesmileandlaugh Sun 10-Mar-13 14:11:35

I've worked all my career in the NHS apart from a brief spell working for a "charity". I was appalled at the lack of morals, ridiculously high salaries and bonuses for management, and rubbish pay and conditions for staff. But most of all, the dreadful service offered to the vulnerable people they were gaining public service contracts to provide services too.

My gripe isn't the allowance rate for LA FC's, it is the inequality. Surely a standard like for like rate would benefit all apart from those Porsche and race horse owner managers. Ho hum!

NanaNina Sun 10-Mar-13 14:02:36

Am a bit confused by your post fasparent - can't make out whether yu are moving to an IFA or are against IFAs?

fasparent Sun 10-Mar-13 09:35:52

Moving too a cash for care culture afraid, Dont take notice of problems in Elderly care system scince privatisation. New Cash for Kids Culture evolving.
Fed up of being told advised too go private how much extra we would get.
SORRY our house is their home not a HOME, not about money true it helps but we feel kid's need too live in the real world and see every day problems family's experience .

NanaNina Sun 10-Mar-13 02:31:54

Don't be taken in by the "not for profit" - all that means is that they don't pay shareholders but it does't stop the directors paying themselves huge salaries.

musickeepsmesane Sat 09-Mar-13 23:55:35 seems to have possibilities for middle ground. I am checking them out at the moment and they genuinely seem to not be about profit. Maybe I am being optimistic tho'

NanaNina Sat 09-Mar-13 20:50:37

I can completly understand why LA carers feel about this huge discrepancy, and some of yu will know that many of us in SSs have consistently badgered senior managers on this issue, but I'm afraid at the end of it plainjayne is right. As for where does the money come from, there are several budgets and "slush funds" where money can be moved around. The thing is there is absolutely no way round the problem of a child having to be placed and nothing available only an IFA carer - the child can't be returned to an abusive home. As pj says IFA placements are a very last resort and as soon as an "in house" placement becomes available the child is moved from the IFA carer.

I actually lay the blame for IFAs and all the privatisation of public services firmly at the feet of this awful coalition, who are waging war on the poor and slashing the budgets of public services. If privatisation of the fostering service (via IFAs) was not legal then these IFA directors would not be making huge sums of money and driving around in Porshes and having strings of race horses etc., and LA fostering services were properly resourced, then there would not be a problem about the discrepancies between IFA payments and LA payments. BUT the govt are in favour of any kind of privatisation and won't rest till all public services are privatised, to make big profits for the directors and share holders.

The same question can be asked of the govt - how is it that there is HAS to be cuts to disabled people, caps on housing benefits, and sick people being told they are fit to work, and the latest "bedroom tax" all supposedly to help bring down the deficit (all in this together........ha bloody ha....most of the cabinet are millionaires) BUT money is found to pay billions of pounds to private companies to carry out work capability tests, help people get jobs,
(supposedlym althought there is an abysmal record) prisons run by private companies and schools being made into acadamies - I could go on and then there;s the defence budget - billions has been found for this - where from - the huge budgets that they hold.

Sorry LA carers I know you will still feel aggrieved and I used to tell senior managers that it was a great wonder that we had any LA carers left, and I still think that, but at least you can think you are not helping to line the pocketsof these entrepeneurs who seized the gap in the market to privatise te fostering service. Sorry not much consolation I know.

childatheart Sat 09-Mar-13 17:12:54

Ah ! the million dollar question, irrespective of what internal budget it comes from (dress it up with words and dogma all you like) it still comes from the same overall pot available, so like you lovesmileandlaugh as a LA carer I never have and never will get it !!!

plainjayne123 Sat 09-Mar-13 10:03:14

Children will only be placed with IFA as last resort. The LA will pay a lot of LA carers and a small proportion of IFA carers.

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 07-Mar-13 13:35:24

I understand that LA's have very fixed budgets so therefore have limited resources to pay foster carers. Where does the money therefore come from to pay IFA carers (and all their staff) a much higher amount?
I don't get it. If they say to their own foster carer's that they can't afford to pay more than £X, how can they afford to pay IFA carers (and the associated costs) more than that? Where does that money suddenly appear from?
I'm not getting it...

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