Thinking of fostering?

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The Difference Between Fostering Agencies and Local Authorities

Local Authorities are legally responsible for children and young people who are ‘Looked After’ within the care system.

FCA Scotland is an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) and we work very closely with Local Authorities (LA) to find suitable foster carers for children and young people who are unable to be placed with their own approved foster carers.

This could be because they have a shortage of registered foster carers or because the child has particularly complex needs, which at FCA Scotland, we are specially equipped to deal with.

Although we work alongside the Local Authorities, there are some key differences between fostering with your Local Authority and fostering with Independent Fostering Agencies like FCA Scotland:

Levels of support vary between LAs and IFAs, as Local Authorities are often unable to offer the same level of support. Here at FCA Scotland, we have an unrivalled support and training package, designed with our foster carers in mind. We have a team of Social Work Support Staff, Support Workers, Therapists and Education Liaison Officers. Fostering is a rewarding career but we know that there will be times where you’ll feel challenged or unsure of the best course of action. FCA Scotland will be with you every step of the way.

We offer a therapeutic approach that provides looked after children with the additional, intensive support they need to thrive. In 2002, we created our Team Parenting® model of foster care, which focuses on the foster carer’s ability to effect change for children and young people by offering safe, stable and therapeutic foster placements. We provide our carers with ongoing access to therapists and therapeutic training programs that provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to help children thrive.

While we are an IFA, we differ from many other independent agencies in one clear and distinctive way: we are still owned and managed by the people who founded FCA.

FCA Scotland became operational 15 years ago in 2002, with a vision to make a positive and lasting difference to children, families and communities.

If you would like more information about the difference between Local Authority and Independent Fostering Agencies or you would like to discuss fostering with us, please call 0141 646 4805. One of our dedicated fostering advisors will be happy to help.

Alternatively, you can complete our short enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


How can we help?

If you would like some more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you all you need to do is contact us.

Send me a brochure

  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • We appreciate it’s a big decision which you need to consider carefully so you’re likely to have questions – we’d like to help answer your questions.
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Enquire Online

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Phone us

Call us on 0141 646 4805 (lines open Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

Outside of these hours please call 0800 434 6000Freephone lines open Mon to Thurs – 5pm to 8pm.

Request a call back

  • Information provided will not be shared with any third party and is solely used for the purpose of contacting you in relation to fostering

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.