9 August 2016
THE CONTROVERSY over ‘Golden Hellos’ offered by some agencies to entice foster carers to switch services hit the mainstream this week with a BBC report that included an interview with TACT CEO Andy Elvin. The practice was wrong the BBC reported because local authorities bear the cost of training and approving carers whose services they then have to buy back at an inflated cost when carers move to a fostering agency.
Harvey Gallagher, CEO of the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers challenged the belief that local authority placements were “cheaper” claiming that councils did not have a real handle on the true “unit cost of foster care”. The National Fostering Agency’s CE Iain Anderson claimed that the NFA “never have and never will offer cash incentives to poach foster carers”. Meanwhile the Fostering Network reminded us that foster carers have the same right as other fostering sector professionals to freedom of movement between organisations – with the caveat that the welfare of the children should be the determining factor.
BARRISTER KIRSTY Brimelow and journalist Amelia Gentleman write in the Guardian of the horrific situation facing refugees including 700 children in the Calais camps where violence from police and local residents is commonplace. The reports follow last month’s House of Lords committee report which described the UK’s reluctance to take in unaccompanied asylum seeking children as “deplorable” (TWiF 2 August). In the same week we learnt that the Home Office won an appeal against a landmark ruling allowing four Syrian refugees including three 16 year olds living in the Calais camp to come to Britain.
STAYING IN the court system we learn from Community Care that the Court of Appeal has ordered a re-hearing of care proceedings after overturning a ruling made by the Family Court that a young girl should be placed with paternal grandparents who had never met her, rather than remain with foster-to-adopt carers who had been looking after her since she came into care aged 5 months.
COUNCILS SHOULD guarantee apprenticeships for children leaving care, according to the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield, reports CYP Now. Her recommendation comes alongside the publication of a series of measures to support care leavers into employment via apprenticeships recommended in a report undertaken by the Centre for Social Justice on behalf of the Children’s Commissioner.
IN THE Guardian Louse Tickle reports on the frustrations experienced by care professionals over the refusal of CAMHS to take referrals for children who are in short-term care.
AND FINALLY, also in the Guardian, Jimmy Paul, a graduate and former child in care who had 13 different social workers in 11 years, urges social workers to learn from his experiences of the social work system from the inspirational to the downright patronising.