Readers Letters, 13 January 2011
No need for care model in foster care
As a foster carer for 16 years with a local authority and then transferring to a private agency I question why Solihul Council needed to look to a Japanese car manufacturer to work out how to recruit foster carers. (‘New model for foster carer recruitment’, 2 December, www.communitycare.co.uk/115895)
It would be more appropriate to consult a reputable private agency to find out how they recruit, and more importantly, retain their foster carers. During our fostering for the local authority we were not made to feel valued for the hard work and dedication we offered the many children and young people we cared for. The private agency worked with us and valued our input. We felt part of the professional team.
Local authorities and social workers need to ensure they value their foster carers and not view them as just a holding place. The carers may not have the academic abilities of the social worker, but they know the child better than anyone else as they care for them through their emotional turmoil and support their future well being. Recruiting is the easy part, retaining is the difficulty.
Lyn Gibbins, Social worker
We must butress poor providers
The latest Care Quality Commission data on care homes shows that, whilst the government and the sector have agreed that tailored, personalised care is best, more older and disabled people are being accommodated in fewer, larger institutions, rather than small, personal settings (news, 11 November, www.communitycare.co.uk/115768). The regulatory burden upon small services has always been disproportionate, with many having to conform to standards set with much larger facilities and staff teams in mind. So it is worrying that CQC is proposing reducing annual fees for large care homes but tripling them for the smallest homes to £650 per year. Fees for the smallest community care services will rise from £621 to £1000.
CQC have demonstrated in other ways that they value and support small-scale and personalised services, which consistently out-perform other kinds of care in star ratings, so we would encourage the diminishing small provider sector to respond to this consultation. Small operators already struggle with very tight margins: it is in everyone’s interests that a diverse market place of providers survives these difficult economic circumstances.
Alex Fox, CEO, NAAPS UK
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