What is the role of an independent fostering agency?



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.

What is an independent fostering agency?

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.

What is the difference between a local authority and 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.

Why choose an independent fostering agency?

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.

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.

you may be also interested in


17th April, 2024

Saving for the Future


15th February, 2024

Do you know about Parent & Child fostering?


6th February, 2024

Safer Internet Day

Find out more about fostering with Excel Fostering.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

Download Now

Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering.