Foster Carer and Supported Lodging Carer Membership and Allegations Support Services
Foster Carer and Supported Lodging Carer Membership and Allegations Support Services ITT.
ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
The Authority seek to procure a suitably qualified and experienced Provider to deliver National Professional Membership and allegation support to Foster Carers and Supported Lodging Providers from 1st Aug 2017 for a period of five  years terminating on 31st July 2022, with a potential extension of up to a further two  years.
Essex County Council (The Authority) currently provides high quality fostering services through The Essex Fostering Service that ensure children and young people are placed in safe, stable and first-rate in-house foster care where they are valued, supported and encouraged to grow and develop as individuals and achieve positive outcomes.
This contract includes all in-house foster carers and supported lodgings carers being offered membership to a National Membership Organisation that provides access to independent support and advice which enables them to maintain a safe place for children and young people to live, thrive and achieve their full potential.
Local Authorities have a statutory duty to provide access to independent advice and support to Essex foster carers and supported lodgings providers who are subject to an allegation. This element fulfils the requirement as set out in point 22.9 of the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards 2011.
The Authority’s Access to Resources Team 16+ (ART) form part of the overarching placement strategy for children looked after by ECC. They approve Essex (in-house) foster carers and supported lodgings carers however where it has not been possible to provide in-house foster carers Essex County Council works with Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA) to identify independent foster carers.
The Authority is seeking to procure a suitably qualified and experienced Service Provider to make available a range of support services (including, but not limited to access to legal and welfare advice, information and advocacy) to all in-house foster carers, supported lodgings providers and their own children.
The aims of this service will be to:
- Provide advice and support to all approved ECC Foster Carers and Supported Lodgings Carers and their families when an allegation has been made concerning a standard of care or safeguarding issue:
- To befriend, advise and support at a time of crisis and isolation. This service is to be extended to the Children of the Foster Carers Supported Lodgings Carers concerned including a tailored counselling service.
- To provide a proactive service to all Essex Foster Carers and Supported Lodgings Carers that improves and raises the standards of care and help to prevent future issues developing.
- To engage with Foster Carers and Supported Lodgings Carers to promote this service and enable them and their families to utilize the provision to its full extent.