CAERPHILLY Council has approved changes to foster carer retainer payments, which could save the authority thousands of pounds.
The retainer is a fee paid to foster carers when they have vacancies – no children in their care.
In 2012-13 retainer payments cost children’s services £54,487. Under the new policy, the report estimates the maximum spend on retainer payments will be £10,000 a year.
Dave Street, corporate director for social services presenting the report to cabinet on Wednesday, said: “The amount we were spending on retainer money was pretty high and needed to be addressed.
“We undertook a full consultation with foster carers and they recognised themselves it was a very generous scheme. [They] have been party to these changes and approve them.”
Retainers will now be paid for a maximum of three months, where previously there was no time limit on the payment.
Parents will stops receiving the fee if they are under any sort of investigation, and carers will not be eligible to receive a retainer until after they have had their first placement.
The rates of the fees have changed with the Career Carers seeing a reduction of £66 to £110 a week and a rate of £55 per week for mainstream and probationary carers.
The changes will be implemented from April 1.