Whether you’re new to fostering or thinking of transferring to an independent fostering agency, it’s helpful to understand the different options available to you. In this guide, we’ll explore what independent fostering agencies, like Excel Fostering, offer, and how they can help you on your journey to being the best foster carer you can be.
Independent fostering agencies work alongside the local authorities to help place children and young people in safe and loving homes. This typically takes place when the local authority is unable to place a child with one of their own approved foster parents. This could be because they have a shortage of registered foster carers or because the child has particularly complex needs that could be better catered to by an independent fostering agency.
Local authorities are organisations similar to local and county councils. They are government bodies that will initially remove a child from the home, if they believe it is the best decision to do so, and will be responsible for the safeguarding and outcomes for the child.
In recent years, local authorities have faced increased pressure due to a growing population and, as a result, a growing demand for children’s protection. More than 8,600 new foster care families are needed in the UK this year – and this figure rises each year.
Traditionally, all children in the care system were placed directly to local authority foster carers. However, independent fostering agencies were brought on to meet the heavy demands placed on care services and local authorities.
It's the local authority's job to make an assessment to determine the level of care needed to suit the child’s situation. The local authority then has a number of responsibilities, which includes ensuring only suitable people are approved to look after the child and that an appropriate standard care is provided.
In comparison to local authorities, independent fostering agencies tend to have more time to support, resources and a more competitive fostering allowance that they can allocate to foster carers. At Excel Fostering, we deliver a comprehensive support package that provides you with the rewards, support and benefits to help you grow in your role as a foster carer.
● Extensive training – independent fostering agencies typically have more resources available, so it’s likely that there will be more opportunities to help develop your skills as a carer.
● A more competitive allowance – typically, independent fostering agencies offer bigger allowances to cover the costs of looking after a child, compared to what local authorities provide.
● Outstanding support – at Excel Fostering, we pride ourselves on having some of the most professional, expert and friendly members of staff across the North West. There will always be a member of the team there for you 24 hours, seven days a week, so you don’t need to wait for the help you need.
With over 100 carers across the North West and 10 years of experience here at Excel Fostering, we have the expertise to arm you with the knowledge to look after the young people or children in your care. Discover more reasons why you should foster with Excel Fostering.
Now you're clued up on independent fostering agencies, why not kick start the process and learn how to become a foster carer or what type of foster care you’d be suited to? If you’d like to find out more about the differences between fostering with an independent agency or local authority, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.
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.