Strategy Group 12th July
- Ali Moulder – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave West – email@example.com
- Deb Whiteway – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Glyn Oliver – email@example.com
- Katie Ranft – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kim St Barbe – email@example.com
- Lorraine Kirby – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nicky Knight – email@example.com
- Pat Blosse – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sarah Denton – email@example.com
- Tim Boarer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome and Last Months Minutes
Emma greeted the members of strategy and began the meeting by going over what was discussed last month.
Emma and Emma to look over the cards and certificates for children who have completed their GCSE’s.
The next managers meeting will look to decide the word to be used rather than respite.
The smaller group to talk about internet access is yet to be established.
Confidentiality Issues – Julie to talk to PA’s regarding this.
The group expressed how they enjoyed Ella dropping in the last meeting to discuss what was occurring within the participation team. Emma M to invite Ella again.
The group also noted that it would be beneficial for a member of Foster Talk to attend the next Strategy meeting to discuss finances.
National Insurance Credit Letter
Foster carers have requested a letter from Devon County Council so they can apply for national insurance credits.
Sarah Requested that carers are issued a standardised letter from Devon County Council that informs they are entitled to national credits. It will be in Emma Nobes’ name and will be signed by the social worker who will put in the relevant dates.
The letter needs to state how long the carer has fostered and also that they are still a carer.
Good News Stories
Emma informed the group that Claire Bennett is the new Recruitment and Assessment manager for fostering.
Skills to Foster is back on in person which is great news for prospective carers.
Ali informed the group that her young person has been offered a job after getting involved in the ‘kick start’ scheme and also managed to book a theory – which has been really challenging to do. This is wonderful news!
North to hold their first face to face support group which is brilliant.
Gemma Siweic then attended the meeting to talk about childrens savings. Her department have been considering ways to save money for children and in doing so, ensure consistencies across the board; for all children in care whether that’s in residential homes, independent fostering or with our foster carers.
The department has a bit of a concept which involves every child in care having a junior cash ISA that has £5 payed into it each week. The idea is that the child has no access to this money until they are 18 and are able to take it with them through their life. The fostering service won’t have to create anything as cash ISA’s are already a recognised process. In order to fit the criteria to receive child savings the child must have been in care for the last 12 months.
The payments are also separate from carers finances. There will be a foundation that manages the money, most likely they will use a spreadsheet and transfer the money to the appropriate child’s ISA account, Gemma is to return to Strategy in a few months to give an update on this proposal.
A few carers are worried around changes to the Staying Put Policy. Emma advised the group she is currently working with Lance Feldman around staying put and the new policy. Both Emma and Lance agree with the foster carers arguments against young people giving foster carers money.
Keeping In Touch With Children Once They Have Moved On.
Mid and East have actively been working on this. Sarah notified the team that there would be a meeting around this on Thursday. The group are currently working on adoption transition but will soon begin to look at children moving back home and children moving to other foster carers. The group are hoping to write their own policy. A few foster carers contacted the commissioner around this. The working group are putting together a policy to issue to Emma Nobes.
National Insurance Number
The group then discussed difficulties around accessing childrens national insurance letters. DWP are often reluctant to talk to foster carers.
The group concluded that the best people to sort this are social workers and PA’s.