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ANGRY foster carers have met children’s chief Councillor Joe Tildesley, over fears proposed changes to pay could cost them hundreds of pounds.

Under the scheme many carers would have to foster for a minimum of 75 per cent of the year, and take on more responsibilities such as an active role in carer recruitment, or lose £117.76 a week.

Under the scheme many carers would have to foster for a minimum of 75 per cent of the year, and take on more responsibilities such as an active role in carer recruitment, or lose £117.76 a week.

“Foster carers fulfil a vital, very challenging role on behalf of communities,” said one foster carer, who would not be named.

“We should be getting more, not less. It’s an insult. Everyone has been up in arms, morale is incredibly low.

“What is being proposed is likely to produce a false economy, as a likely consequence will be a loss of some, if not all of the in-house foster carers.

“The council will then have no other option but to turn to the private sector and pay far more.”

Following a recent meeting between Solihull Foster Carers Association and Coun Tildesley, it is believed the draft proposals are now being revised.

Coun Tildesley said no decisions had been made on the budget but he was ‘determined’ to keep Solihull’s hard working foster carers’.

“In 2012/13 we have to save £2.16million from the Children and Young People budget. In 2013/14, it is £2.42million,” he said.

“Quite properly, every single thing we do is being looked at. (But) we are nowhere near making a decision about any changes to the financial remuneration our foster carers receive.

“Whatever changes do take place, I’m absolutely determined that we retain the wonderful foster carers that we have and recruit new carers.

“I can see where we can save some money, rather than impacting on what foster carers do.”

Coun Tildesley said he had not yet seen any paperwork on the plan but welcomed representations at the key cabinet meeting next year.

 

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