Foster parents in Jersey are to be paid under a major overhaul of the island's care system.

Under the Intensive Fostering Service, which is due to launch in February, foster carers would receive £40,000 per year but would not be able to take on another job during that time.

It is hoped that by increasing the number of foster carers in the island, the service can place more children in family-based placements rather than children's homes - particularly those who require specialist care.

Children's Minister Senator Sam Mézec says the move would also reduce the need to put children in homes off-island.

The Children's Minister says the island's foster carers provide a fantastic service to children on the island, but that the current system needed to be changed to provide for those with more challenging needs.

Recruiting intensive foster carers to the Children’s Service will mean children with complex and challenging needs stay in Jersey and the spend on off-Island placements is reduced. And the establishment of this service builds on evidence of the importance and effectiveness of family placements in supporting positive outcomes for looked-after children and I congratulate all those involved who have helped to develop this significant service for Jersey.”

Senator Sam Mézec, Jersey's Children’s Minister

The service will be targeted at children up until the age of 18 who have complex or specialist needs, children who have experienced trauma or abuse and children with significant health issues, disabilities or life-limiting illnesses, as well as their siblings.

The government says work is still underway on the new system ahead of a recruitment drive for foster carers in February.