Jul 26 2013

More local foster carers available under new agreement in Harrow

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council will join together with eight other London boroughs to ensure more local foster parents are available to look after children in need, after Cabinet approved new plans.

The West London Alliance (WLA) Children’s Services Efficiencies Programme will create a shared pool of independent fostering agencies for councils to work with. This approach will drive down costs to the taxpayer by using combined purchasing power, and will improve the quality of foster carers through rigorous performance management.

Importantly, it will also lead to these agencies taking on more foster carers. This will ensure that more foster carers are available for the Council to place looked-after children, and lead to a greater proportion of children being placed within 20 miles of the borough.

The plans are part of the West London Independent Fostering Agency Framework, which is being led by Hillingdon Council and which Harrow has helped to develop.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Zarina Khalid: “These plans will mean there are more local foster homes for Harrow’s children. We will continue to place looked-after children with high quality foster carers and it will ensure we are getting good value for money at a time when every penny counts.”

Fostering is a way of providing care for children in a family setting when they cannot live with their own families. Harrow has its own arrangements for finding suitable carers but there is a limited supply so it also needs to source foster parents through independent fostering agencies.

Harrow has so far played a key role in strengthening the local market of foster care providers through WLA’s efficiencies programme. By jointly developing the Framework Agreement the WLA will exploit its combined purchasing power to deliver greater savings, more local foster carers and a high quality service.

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1 comment

  1. sonoo malkani

    Increasing foster places in Harrow by joining hands with other boroughs is a sensible way forward.Good to see Harrow Council considering additional ways to bolster the numbers and provide much-needed homes for our youth.

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