7 Feb 2017 A drive to the bottom won't give children (or the public purse) what they need Recent months have seen a very worrying trend for local authority commissioning of foster care to set very low 'capped' prices. This means that the tendered contract for independent and voluntary sector fostering providers (IFPs) has a maximum price set against a notional idea of a unit cost (as if there's any such thing in reality as a 'unit' of a child! Children are different and need different kinds of support that cost different amounts of money - commoditising them is a flawed premise, in my view). Commissioning
1 Aug 2016 How much does care cost? Over the past 18 months, NAFP has looked in detail at the way a small number of local authorities cost their own 'in-house' fostering services. It is important to understand this methodology because local authorities need to be sure that they are spending their money wisely to best meet children's needs. But it's also important because there is a widely-held belief amongst local authorities than in-house placement are 'cheaper' than external placements. Commissioning
7 Jul 2016 How much cheaper is enough? I read Sir Martin Narey's review of residential care for children this week with interest and welcomed much of what was in it but I also found myself disappointed. I was a little bit surprised (perhaps nievely so) to see the references to foster care in the review. I would have liked to have had the chance to offer my views if I had known. If the call for evidence included foster care, I must have misunderstood this. Commissioning
4 Sep 2015 The art of developing a social care contract The Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers was recently asked to join a working group to review the National Fostering Contract. This led me to reflect on my experience and knowledge of social care contracting over the past 15 years. Whilst some contracting does work well, I believe that relationships in our sector are sometimes soured due to dissatisfaction over terms and conditions that are be perceived as unreasonable, unworkable and unfair. Commissioning
8 May 2015 What does today's election result mean for independent fostering providers? Today delivered a general election result that almost none of us thought possible. Not the pollsters. Nor the politicians. Not even us ‘hard working people’ from ‘up and down this country’, that could even muster any enthusiasm to discuss the election. Perhaps my observation was like yours—universal apathy. The news of a Conservative majority government is now ‘old’, such is the pace of our 24-hour media cycle, and we all know everyone else has quit their jobs. Commissioning
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