- / Procedures
- / Children living away from home
- / Family Placement Service
- / Management of Foster Carers
- / Allowances in Foster Care
Allowances in Foster Care
- The Children (Guernsey and Alderney) law 2008
- Placement of Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Regulations
Practice is based on and informed by best practice guidance from the United Kingdom jurisdictions including
- Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011
- Fostering Services National Minimum Standards 2011
- A fostering allowance is paid to foster carers in respect of each child placed with them.
- The allowance is made up from the actual costs of the direct care for the child. The allowance is payable for each individual child placed and is based on the child's age and in accordance with the costs of caring for a foster child within a family. The allowance provides a maximum amount that a carer can spend to make sure the child/young person's needs are met.
- An annual appraisal of the costs of looking after a child in a family setting is based on the UK Government's Family Expenditure Survey and National Equivalence Scales. The Fostering Network circulates information to all Local Authorities on the minimum allowances that would be needed to meet the costs of caring for the different ages of children being looked after. This is for guidance only.
- In addition to the fostering allowance the Department pays a fee to foster carers in accordance with their skill level. The Skill Level Policy sets out the requirements for each skill level
Fees will be increased on an annual basis in line with RPI.
- The allowance covers the general costs of caring for a looked after child in placement and meeting their needs including the following;pocket money, looked after children's holidays with the foster carer, Birthday and Christmas presents, school costs, uniform, transport costs, leisure activities, suitable and sufficient clothing, child sitting costs
- Clothing for looked after children in placement must be sufficient for their needs and of suitable quality and fit. When a child moves home or to a new placement the carer should ensure the child moves with appropriate and sufficient clothing and that belongings are transported sensitively in suitcases and hold alls
- Where children arrive in placement with little or no clothing and these cannot be obtained from birth family the Department will meet the cost for initial clothing including school uniform and agreement must be sought in advance.
- Setting up costs will also be met by the Department. These must be agreed in advance and includes costs of equipment to enable a placement to be made
- Equipment for the care of babies and toddlers such as cots, buggies, prams, car seats and high chairs will be provided by the Department and available in the foster store
- In all cases of additional funding/setting up costs agreement should be sought from the Department prior to any arrangements being made for purchase.
- If the carer is to pay for items and be reimbursed they will be reimbursed on production of receipts once the Department has agreed to the additional funding and the amount in advance.
- The Department will pay for educational/sporting and recreational trips for looked after children where they are involved in team events or other events outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey
- The Department will pay for passports for looked after children
- The Department pays for all medical and ophthalmic costs for looked after children. Looked after children have their dental and orthodontic needs met by the Children's Dental Service.
- The Department will consider payment of costs for specific interests of looked after children such as musical instruments which are particularly expensive.
- The Department will consider payment for preschool fees for preschool children.
- The Department pays for all registered foster carers to have foster carer membership of The Fostering Network
- The Department pays for the additional annual insurance premium of any foster carer who arranges household insurance cover to include looked after children
- All equipment, furniture and setting up items remain the property of the Department and will be returned to the Department at the end of placement or when a foster carer retires from fostering or is no longer active as a foster carer.
- During investigation of an allegation against a carer when foster placements are interrupted, fees will continue to be paid while the investigation is underway.
- Payments to carers will be made in a timely manner at the agreed rate. Payments are made in arrears by the Finance Department following receipt of the appropriate documentation.
- Payment of Skill Level is made whilst a child is in placement according to the Skill Level Policy. The Family Placement Service will ensure that the Finance Department are made aware of any change to a foster carers skill level
- The Department will provide foster carers with instructions on how to arrange for payment to be made to them in their letter of approval from the Department and it is the responsibility of foster carers to ensure that they follow the instructions given to arrange this. Foster carers should also communicate any change to their payment details in advance to the Department as advised in their letter of approval.
- The Department will advise foster carers that the Fostering Allowance is non-taxable.
- The Department will advise foster carers that the Skills Payment is taxable and foster carers should follow the advice given in their letter of approval to obtain a specific Tax Coding for this. They should declare the Skills payment on their Income Tax Returns.
- The Department will advise foster carers that with the exception of respite carers they should claim Family Allowance in respect of children placed with them. Foster carers should do this by contacting the Family Allowance Department of Social Security at the beginning of a placement and informing them when a placement has ended.
- The Supervising Social Worker must ensure the necessary movement form is completed in a timely manner for all placements to ensure the carer has the money to look after the child on behalf of the Department. No assumption should be made that a carer can wait for the allowance.
- Any application for additional funding for a child should be completed by the Child's Social Worker or the Supervising Social Worker as appropriate. Any reimbursement to carers must be accompanied by proof of purchase via receipt and agreement must be given in advance regarding the amount.
- The Child's Social Worker is responsible for additional funding forms for items required by the child. The Supervising Social Worker is responsible for additional funding forms for funding required by the foster carer i.e. respite placements, setting up costs, equipment and insurance premiums.
- Additional funding forms should be completed in a timely manner and submitted to the Service Manager, Corporate Parenting for approval with the exception of additional funding forms for respite placements and short break care allowance which should be submitted to the Team Manager, Family Placement Service.
- The arrangements for the payment of allowances will be confirmed within the Foster Carer Agreement
When a new placement is made, or a placement ends or there is a placement move the Supervising Social Worker will complete a movement form for each child placed. This will be copied to the Child's Social Worker for inclusion on CID, the Fostering and Alderney Carers Payments Officer and to others as identified by the Department.
Family Placement Service Supervising Social Worker
Immediately prior to placement or on the next available working day for emergency placements
The Fostering and Alderney Carers Payments Officer arranges payment to the foster carer
Fostering and Alderney Carers payments Officer
Payment made monthly in arrears
Requests for additional funding are submitted to CSW or SSW as appropriate. Approval is sought in advance. After being agreed CSW submits Additional Funding Form to the Service Manager Corporate Parenting with receipts as necessary Additional Funding requests regarding respite placements, setting up equipment and insurance premiums are responsibility of the SSW and Team Manager Family Placement approves these requests.
Child's Social Worker (CSW)
SSW (for respite placements, setting up and insurance)
Additional Funding form
In addition Movement form for respite placements
Prior to respite placement where possible
As soon as additional funding request is received
Approve additional funding request and code request. Submit to Finance Department and copy in relevant parties. Finance Department reimburses carer where appropriate or arranges payment direct
Service Manager, Corporate Parenting
Team manager, Family Placement Service
Fostering and Alderney Carers payments Officer
Additional Funding Form
As soon as request is received
Information to be provided to carers regarding allowances, skills payment and setting up payment details, family allowance
Letter of approval
Foster Carer Agreement
Foster Care handbook
Foster carer advises Department of payment details, changes to payment details and claims Family Allowance
On approval, at time of change, at time of placement and end of placement
Inform all carers of new fostering allowance rates
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities