Benefits of fostering with an independent fostering agency


Deciding whether you want to foster is a big decision – so choosing whether you foster with an independent agency or your local authority can feel equally as daunting. The option you choose will naturally influence the type of fostering experiences you have – which is why learning the difference between the two options is beneficial for making the next big decision. Our guide helps you to make the best choice for your career in foster care.

What is a local authority fostering service?

A local authority is legally responsible for the safeguarding and wellbeing of children who are fostered. If you decide to opt foster with your local authority, this could mean you may be more likely to receive placements regularly and potentially quicker than an independent agency.

However, independent agencies cover a wider range of placement options. Either way, both independent fostering agencies and local authorities work closely together to ensure the child’s needs are being met.

What is an independent fostering agency?

Initially, local authorities were the sole provider for foster care placements. However, as the demand for foster placements grew, the local authorities struggled to facilitate all the children and young people being placed in care. That’s where independent fostering agencies come in.

Independent foster agencies were created to support this issue of demand, with fostering agencies such as Excel Fostering providing an independent, family-feel service – with a range of different approaches and processes.

What are the benefits of choosing an independent fostering agency?

  •  Support: the amount of specialised fostering support you’re likely to receive from an independent agency in comparison to the local authority is vastly different. Independent agencies are under far less strain and therefore are more equipped to offer more support in comparison to the local authority. For example, Excel Fostering offer a 24/7 fostering support service.
  •  Training: similarly, when fostering with an independent fostering agency, you will likely have more opportunity for skill enhancement. This is due to there being fewer families enrolled with independent agencies, meaning support and training is distributed out more thoroughly.
  • Allowance: independent fostering agencies also allow for a more competitive fostering allowance than the local authorities.
  • Age: you might also have the opportunity to foster more older children when using an independent agency – whereas local authorities mainly have more younger placements such as babies and younger children.
  • Covers wider areas: there is more opportunity for placements when fostering independently, as these agencies typically cover a wider area than a local authority would.

If you would like to find out more information about fostering independently. You can find out more information by contacting our helpful team. Find out more about the fostering process by reading blogs on our knowledge centre.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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