Reward Policy for Children in Care Council (CHICC) and Children Looked After Undertaking Consultation Work
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This ensures a consistent approach of 'reward' for all CLA taking part in the CHICC and other consultation work.
Most local authorities and voluntary organisations reward children looked after with vouchers and accreditation. In Hertfordshire, the rewards policy was agreed in June 2009, at the same time as arrangements for the CHICC were established. The rewards policy was then reviewed with young people involved in the CHICC in June 2010, and agreed.This chapter was added to the manual in March 2014.
1. Accredited Learning
A positive and a learning experience should be the prime consideration for all participation activities. For those children and young people who participate on a regular basis, accredited learning opportunities will be explored with YC Hertfordshire.
2. Rewards Available To Members of the CHICC
The following rewards will be available to all members of the CHICC:
- Rewards for taking part and completing "Council" Tasks (see below);
- Childcare expenses.
3. Considerations for Rewards to Young People
3.1 Vulnerable or 'at risk' children and young people of working age
Where young people are believed to be vulnerable or at risk, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has a duty of care towards them. If payment is considered a suitable option for the nature of the involvement work being undertaken, a risk assessment should be carried out to assess the appropriateness of payment. If a risk is identified, an alternative reward should be offered.
3.2 School/College HoursChildren and young people who should be in full-time education should not be participating in work that occurs during school/college time. In the rare exception where this is agreed, it should specifically be agreed within their care/pathway or education plan.
4. Method of Rewards for Involvement in CHICC Activities
"Council" projects run by The Participation Officer and or NYAS Advocacy Service will be rewarded in the form of vouchers, any projects run solely by Specialist and Safeguarding Services will be rewarded through Section 23 Money (which replaces the old Section 24 leaving care budget).
As a rule of thumb, and dependent on the capacity and safety of the child, vouchers/monies for young people under 13 years should be given to the carer. Young people over the age of 13 years should receive the vouchers/monies directly unless the care plan or risk assessment states that this is not appropriate.
Each young person/carer will be asked to sign for the rewards and where applicable will agree to take responsibility for declaring this in relation to benefits and tax.If a young person is reimbursed for exact 'out of pocket' expenses, then this does not need to be reported for tax or national insurance purposes.
Where safe and reasonable young people should be supported to use public transport, this will help young people in their preparation for adult life. All reasonable transport costs will be reimbursed.Taxi or minibus arranged by CS or NYAS Advocacy Service will be paid for directly by either CS or NYAS. If the young person travels by train, bus or private car then a receipt of ticket cost or a note of mileage will be required and the cost reimbursed with a cheque or cash. Mileage will be reimbursed at the current rate of 0.40 pence per mile regardless of engine size, this rate is open to change therefore it is advisable to check with the relevant departments as necessary.
Where childcare arrangements cannot be made by young people, childcare costs will be paid to registered childminders, via vouchers, in discussion with the young person's worker, providing it can be shown that those costs are necessary to the involvement of the process. Vouchers are exempt from tax.