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Contract foster care and contract care for disabled children

Contract foster care and disability contract care are our most specialist fostering schemes. Contract foster care provides family based care for young people aged 11 to 18 years. Disability contract care provides family based care for children and young people with significant disabilities.

To reflect this, in addition to the usual fostering allowances, contract carers also receive an additional weekly fee when they have a child placed with them.  Full details are available in the foster carer’s financial handbook attached to this page.

Children and young people in these schemes have complex needs, requiring a higher level of understanding, support and guidance.

Young people will have experienced some or all of the following:

  • family or current foster or adoption placement breakdown
  • cannot be accommodated within mainstream foster care due to their exceptional needs
  • require a placement where they are the only or youngest child in the family
  • would otherwise be accommodated outside of Derbyshire
  • may be remanded into local authority care by the courts
  • may be very vulnerable in the community and behave in ways which may present a danger to themselves or others

Who can become a contract foster carer for disabled children?

Contract carers for disabled children must:

  • have previous experience of caring or working with other people's children, preferably teenagers
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to offer a good standard of care to young people, showing an understanding and sensitivity to the effect that separation from their families has on young people
  • take account of a young person's gender, culture, race, sexuality and level of ability
  • be able to communicate and negotiate effectively with young people
  • be able to accommodate crises in a young person's life, for example, exclusion from school, police investigations or court attendances in a calm considered manner

Disability carers must:

  • have previous experience of caring for or working with children or young people with significant disabilities
  • take account of a young person's gender, culture, race, sexuality and level of ability

What is expected of contract foster carers and contract carers for disabled children?

Due to the very specific needs of young people requiring care within these placements, we ask that Contract Foster Carers meet the following criteria:

  • one carer must be home based and should have no existing employment - they should also have no commitments likely to create a conflict of interest or impact on their ability to respond, on a round the clock basis, to the needs of the young person they look after
  • carers will be expected to take part in ongoing training and development
  • carers are required to offer mutual support to other contract carers and to care for another young person within the scheme whilst their carer is taking a break
  • carers should have no children under the age of 16 years living at home
  • carers must have suitable accommodation with a spare bedroom
  • they should be able to attend all meetings held in respect of a young person and if required provide support to the young person within their school placement
  • they should have a landline and mobile phone and a clean driving licence with use of a car to transport the young person to appointments

What can contract foster carers and contract carers for disabled children expect?

Payment of a contract care fee when a young person is in placement plus the fostering allowances applicable to the young person's age.

Support and supervision from the contract care team and disability fostering team.

Out of hours support at evening and weekends.

Paid breaks up to 28 days a year.

Bi-monthly support groups with other contract carers.

Ongoing training.

Ask about fostering