NAFP is a not-for-profit company and was formed in 2008 by a group of fostering providers in the West Midlands. The group comprised of independent and voluntary sector fostering providers, including large national organisations, medium sized providers and small local agencies. NAFP has been campaigning on behalf of independent and voluntary sector fostering providers and the children for whom they care for over 10 years.
EFC are a member of NAFP to ensure we too can feed key issues we experience back to them, whether this is about issues we may have with local authority communication or wider issues in fostering. Recently Kate Stewart and Sarah Battlebury met with Harvey Gallagher, Chief Exec of NAFP and discussed common issues found with placements for young people who are soon to turn 18 and needing to move on. There are often delays in the planning through no fault of the Agency or the foster carers with an expectation the young person is to remain post 18 until such independent plans are in place for them to move on. Whilst the majority are keen to help and support their young person post 18 even if only for a few months while they transition to independence, the financial implication can be quite significant for a family. We spoke to NAFP so they could understand this from a carer and Agency perspective.
‘Staying Put’ remains on the agenda with NAFP and they will be talking with other IFAs to see if they too have concerns about how ‘Staying Put’ works and the impact this has on foster carers certainly financially when a young person turns 18. We wanted to get the message across that just because someone has turned 18 their needs have not changed overnight. The good work continues post 18, yet fees for this are often significantly reduced.
We are hoping that with enough support behind this, NAFP will be able to communicate concerns to Local Authorities and push to make some change for post 18 placements whether they are in a staying put arrangement or not…
As you know things will not change overnight but we will update you with any outcome for this discussion when we know it.