Things to Consider when Wanting to Transfer Fostering Agency
Reaching the decision that you're ready to transfer agencies can be a huge step. To help foster parents choose the right fostering agency for them, we've put together all the factors you'll want to consider before taking the leap.
Things to Consider when Transferring Foster Care Agency
Whether to transfer to the local authority or an independent fostering agency
One of the main differences between the local authority and independent fostering agencies is the availability of support. At Fosterplus, you'll be given a dedicated social worker – there to support you in addition to the child's social worker. Local authority caseloads are also expectedly higher, meaning you can wait longer for support.
The process of transferring
You will have been through a fostering assessment already, and know what to expect. However when transferring to a different fostering agency, it is good to find out the process involved. At Fosterplus, we recognise the experience you bring so will fast track your assessment with an aim to approve you within 3 months. You can read our full transfer process here.
The support you'll receive as a foster carer
With support being one of the most crucial aspects for successful fostering, it is important to consider this fully. A fostering agency should offer a full range of support. For example at Fosterplus, we provide a 24 hour helpline, every day of the year, as well as online services, so you can always reach our team for any support or advice - whenever you need it. We hold regular support groups, as well as get-togethers with other foster families, so your whole family can benefit and feel connected.
Our team are recognised for going above and beyond in the support we provide to our foster families and children. We know that the support in place will determine the outcome of a child's placement, so we often put bespoke support and resources in place where needed. In short, we pride ourselves on the support we offer and know this is the reason our fostering placements succeed with fewer unplanned endings than the national average.
The types of placements and frequency of fostering opportunities
Before you decide on a fostering agency to transfer to, it is worth discussing the types of placements they provide and the opportunities you will have in terms of children's referrals. We work in partnership with hundreds of placing authorities who choose our foster families time and time again because of our expertise, quality service and continuity provided to those we work with. With our frequent referral opportunities and our referral team's dedication to get to know you fully, we can offer you every possible chance to care for a child needing foster care.
The matching process
We have over 25 years' experience of matching children with the right foster families so we know how crucial the matching process in foster care really is. As an example of what you should look for from a potential fostering agency, they should first put together comprehensive approval criteria for you during your assessment, and your matching considerations should be available the day you are approved so you can be considered for fostering placements from day 1.
Our team at Fosterplus will visit your family to discuss the types of children you are able to care for. By getting to know you fully – from your experience to your preferences – and using extensive matching criteria, we'll be able to find the right foster children for you to care for.
The support provided for children
At Fosterplus we recognise the importance of ongoing support for both our foster children and the birth children of our foster parents. A fostering agency should provide regular visits, support groups, specific guidance and online resources, and tailored support packages to the children in their care.
By ensuring our foster children and birth children are fully supported, we can secure positive and successful foster placements and make a difference to the lives and future of children and young people.
The training programme available
Training for foster parents is crucial for ensuring your skills for fostering remain the best they can be. It is important to have a varied training programme which includes specialist and advanced courses.
We value professional development at Fosterplus and actively encourage our foster parents to attend a wide selection of training courses to continually improve their knowledge and further their expertise.
If you're transferring with a current foster child
If you are currently caring for a foster child or children, you will want to feel confident that you can transfer to a new agency with as little impact to them as possible. A clear plan will need to be in place to ensure a stress-free transition, and Fosterplus maintain a simple process for transferring with a foster child – which we have successfully used for the many families who have transferred to us with a current placement.
The opportunities for connection with other foster families
Being able to meet with and share advice with other foster parents is a key part of fostering. Fosterplus arranges lots of social events as well as support groups – for both foster carers and children – where you can meet other foster families for a fun day out as well as building a solid support network. Being surrounded by other families who are experiencing the same enjoyment and challenges of fostering can make all the difference to your journey as a foster parent.
The respite package on offer
Some fostering agencies will not offer a respite package to your family. We understand that the role of fostering can be a challenging one, so we provide two weeks paid respite to our foster parents so they can have a well-earned break or time off for a specific event.
What fostering allowance you will be paid
Your foster care allowance is important in helping you provide the very best level of care to the children you are fostering. Be sure to discuss this with your potential new agency, as Fosterplus will be able to match your current payments and possibly even offer an increase.
Any benefits you will be provided
Additional benefits may not come as standard in fostering so it's a good idea to check this out as part of your research. Some examples of benefits offered at Fosterplus are £200 allowance for birthdays and celebrations, gifts and awards for recognition, as well as membership to our rewards platform offering discounts for hundreds of popular retailers, restaurants and family days out.
We hope this has been useful in providing key areas to consider when looking to change fostering agency. If you would like more information, read more about transferring to Fosterplus or get in touch with our team today.
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