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Changing IFA: Transferring to Excel Fostering

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Becoming a foster carer is a big step - in the beginning of your journey, you may not have considered the different types of agencies out there. With time and experience, you may want to know more about these Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs) and you may even wish to transfer agencies.

In our helpful guide, we explore the benefits of joining Excel Fostering agency to help you better decide which agency is the perfect fit for you.

How does the fostering system work?

The growing demand for foster families means that local authorities provide their own fostering services whilst supporting IFAs also place children with approved families. Independent agencies tend to have more resources, training opportunities and support available for foster families, so can be a better choice for many applicants.

Whilst all IFAs abide by the same rules and must comply to the Care Act Standards Act 2000, what differentiates agencies is the type of specialist support, salary and benefits they offer.

Comparing IFA

Ofsted regulates many IFAs and they can differ quite a bit - some may be charities, whilst others are companies. Some agencies may only operate in specific parts of the country, or they could operate nationwide. However, an IFA will not differ in certain aspects, such as:

These aspects are simply part of foster care, and will not change – if you are finding these elements difficult, it is best to consider if you have the skills to foster. IFAs do differ in the sense that some will offer better training and support, higher allowances or more of a family-type atmosphere.

How to switch foster agencies

Firstly, you need to inform your fostering agency that you would like to transfer. When they have been notified, the recruiting IFA will conduct their own assessment. The new fostering agency cannot fully approve this assessment until the foster parent has officially resigned from their initial fostering agency. The contract will automatically be terminated 28 days after a written notice of resignation.

If there is a child in care at time of this resignation, the placing authority will be informed and involved in the transfer so that, the child can continue their placement with the same foster carer.

Why should you choose Excel Foster Care?

Here at Excel Fostering, you don’t have to worry about a lengthy transfer process - we put in place a method that is seamless and easy. When you decide to transfer agencies, there is a legal process in place – according to the Principles Governing the Transfer of Foster Carers 2015, protocols have been put in place to ensure a child’s home is not disrupted. When you decide to make the swap, we will support you to justify the following:

  •  Benefits of transferring agencies for the child 
  • What the implications are for transferring with a child in placement 
  • Why you have chosen to transfer 
  • Benefits of transferring agencies for the child 

If all of these aspects have been considered, you may be interested in transferring to Excel Fostering. We provide various benefits for our foster carers, including:

  • Experience: we have over a decade of experience and look after around 90 carers across the North West of England. We have refined our skills to accurately assess carer’s abilities, location, preferences and experience. We create excellent working relationships between carers and staff, and you’ll have a professional on hand to help 24 hours a day. 
  • We were awarded ‘Good’ by Ofsted: this rating was given due to the amazing work our team in the North West have done, providing for both carers and young people. 
  • Support: new foster carers are provided you with detailed fostering training, which will arm you with the knowledge to be able to take care of young people or children in care. Fostering training is also offered every year on several topics in order to help you to improve your skillset.

What are the fostering allowance rates at Excel?

  •  Standard placements - approx. £400 per week 
  • Respite placements - approx. £400 per week 
  • Therapeutic foster placements – approx. - £500 - £575 per week 
  • Parent and child placements – approx. - £650 per week

Our foster placements start at approximately £400 a week and range up to £650 a week – our fostering allowance for carers is higher than the minimum national foster parent allowance of £132 - £231 per week. This is all dependent on your level of experience as a foster carer, and your training. For instance, a parent and child placement would require a specific set of skills and additional training, therefore you would be paid more.

Fostering support

Fostering is a hard job and therefore fostering support is vital – we recognise that this is very challenging and sometimes you may need extensive support. We prioritise supporting our carers by:

  • Training in all aspects of looking after children with difficult behaviours 
  • Up to 14 days paid holiday per year
  • Competitive fostering allowances
  • Out of hours service that gives you social worker support 24/7
  • Regular phone calls and visits with a dedicated team of foster carers
  • A network of foster carers in your area readily available to support you

Thinking of transferring IFA? For further information on why Excel Fostering is the best fostering agency for you, get in touch with a fostering advisor today.

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.

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