Foster Care numbers and costings

 “Please provide:-

1. Details of the lowest, highest and average weekly fee rates agreed with external suppliers of Independent Foster Care Services for the current year (2018/2019).

Fees paid to Independent Fostering Agencies are determined by those providers. We do hold that information, however:

  • Disclosure of those rates may provide competitive advantage and prejudice the commercial interests of the agencies involved.
  • Disclosure may also prejudice the interests of Devon County Council (DCC) as fostering placement fees may be increased which could result in reduced value for money to the Council and the people it serves.

Therefore, we are exempting this information from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Commercial Interests’.

DCC is aware that Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act is subject to the public interest test, and is confident that the public interest lies in favour of withholding this information at the present time.

2. Details of the lowest, highest and average weekly fee rates paid to local authority carers.

(Please note that for questions 1 and 2, we do not require details of all rates paid to individual suppliers, simply minimum, maximum and average rates payable.)

As at 30th July 2018 the lowest weekly rate the Council was paying for an in-house Looked after Child placement was £144.72 (Foster to Adopt placement), the highest was £1110.98 (parent & child placement) and the average was £390.30.

3. Details of the rates of each tier for independent fostering agencies (if there is a framework agreement in place), or confirmation that tier rates have not changed from the previous year.

DCC does hold information relating to Independent Fostering Agency tier rates but deems this information to be exempt under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Commercial Interests’.  This is because:

  • Disclosure of those rates may provide competitive advantage and prejudice the commercial interests of the agencies involved.
  • Disclosure may also prejudice the interests of Devon County Council as fostering placement fees may be increased which could result in reduced value for money to the Council and the people it serves.

DCC is aware that Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act is subject to the public interest test, and is confident that the public interest lies in favour of withholding this information at the present time.

4. The number of looked after children in foster care as at 31 March 2018 and of those children, the percentage looked after by independent foster agencies.”

On 31/03/18 Devon County Council had 699 Children in Care. Of that number 168 (24%) of these children

 

2017/18 Foster care rates and allowances are provided via the below link.

https://devoncc.sharepoint.com/:x:/s/PublicDocs/InfoMgt/EYYh0TM-ZFxPoFBCSfzN3T8B8-tSNXU6LT5HdxQhSL65Kw?e=SVltpX