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Good News for Highland Foster Carers (14/11/08)
Highland’s 100 foster carers, who look after around 130 children and young people, have received a double boost.
The Care Commission has published an inspection of The Highland Council’s Fostering Service, and judged it “very good” on all performance indicators.
And The Highland Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee has agreed additional funding of £420,000 to further enhance fostering services.
The Care Commission spoke with foster carers and social workers, and examined records, questionnaires and practice guidance. Focusing on the quality of care and support, staffing and leadership of the Service, the Care Commission identified many strengths, including:
• Foster carers are visited regularly and find the support to be very good;
• Foster carers and staff demonstrate a good understanding of child protection procedures;
• Staff are enthusiastic, motivated and committed to providing a high level of service.
In welcoming the inspection report at the Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: “This excellent report is a tribute to all of our staff and managers in the Foster Care Service. It is also great tribute to Highland’s foster carers.”
Councillor Davidson is also delighted that the Committee has agreed an investment package worth an additional £420,000 to further enhance foster care services in the authority, and to implement the Scottish Government’s national strategy for foster care and kinship care. This package includes:
• An increase in fees worth £40/week for all foster carers;
• Starter grants of £400 for kinship carers;
• Funding for computers and communications systems for foster carers;
• New on-line training resources; and
• Continued commitment for Highland’s kinship carer support service.
Councillor Davidson said: “We clearly have very good foster care and kinship care services here in Highland, and many wonderful carers. They deserve reliable and effective support, efficient communications and good training, information on entitlements and fair remuneration. This package of measures will provide that, and will help ensure that we continue to have excellent services for our carers and looked after children into the future”.
The inspection report is available at www.carecommission.com