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12 Things to Ask When Transferring Foster Agencies

If you are currently fostering with an agency and are unhappy with the service, support, training, fostering allowances, or anything else, then you might be wondering if the time has come to transfer foster agency.

April 11 2023 - 4 min read

You already do so much for the young lives in your care, and you deserve to be with a foster agency that not only recognises your hard work but provides you with the best care and compensation. If you feel like you’re not getting this with your current agency, then now might be the perfect time to look into how to transfer foster agency.

Why you might want to transfer foster agency

Once you’ve started fostering and have been doing it for a while, you’ll start to get a better feel for whether your agency or local authority is a good fit for your needs. The levels of support you receive and how much you’re paid could be lacking. Sometimes, you just might not click with your current provider, and that’s OK. Or if you've been fostering for a while and have started to feel unhappy with the way your agency works, then it might be time to consider a change.

Some of the main reasons carers feel the need to change agencies include:

  • The fostering allowance is insufficient.
  • Carers feel they’re not being given the training they need to succeed and cope.
  • They’re unhappy with the relationship they have with their current agency.
  • They feel unsupported and unheard.
  • Carers aren’t being offered placements for the young people they feel they can care for.

Whatever the reason might be for choosing to transfer agencies, your feelings and needs are valid and need to be addressed. Fostering is an incredibly rewarding career, but it can also be a challenge, and you deserve to be supported and compensated to reflect your hard work and dedication to changing vulnerable young lives.

A great foster agency should always do as much as possible to support their carers. After all, they’re doing one of the most important jobs there is. And it takes more than just an application to create a foster home. Foster carers need constant training and development, a competitive fostering allowance, rewards and benefits, 24/7 support from fostering professionals, and a caring support network of peers.

12 things to ask when transferring foster agencies

Now that you’re considering transferring fostering agencies, what questions should you ask?

  1. Will I be entitled to respite?

    Fostering is a full-time, full-on career, and just like in any job, you will need a break from time to time. That’s why we offer our foster carers up to 14 nights paid respite, so you can get the downtime you need to refresh and recharge.

  2. Can I transfer foster agency with my current foster child?

    If it’s in the child’s best interests and their level of care will continue with your next chosen provider, you can transfer to FCA Scotland with a child in your care. Once you’ve decided we’re the right agency for you, you’ll need to inform your current fostering provider and the child’s placing authority that you intend to transfer. Within 28 days, the child’s independent reviewing officer will hold a meeting involving all relevant parties to discuss the intended transfer and determine what is best for the child. If transferring to us is given the green light, our fostering panel will review your suitability and make a recommendation to be approved as a FCA foster carer.

  3. Will I need to go through the application process again?

    You will need to have a formal assessment, the usual checks, and be seen by a fostering panel when you transfer to us, but it will be a much quicker process than your first application.

  4. Can I transfer to a private agency from a Local Authority?

    Yes, you absolutely can. There won’t be any stigma placed on you if you choose to move to a private agency. The main thing is what is best for the children in care, and we always work closely with Local Authorities to match you with the child or children who would most benefit from being placed with you.

  5. Will there be a wide age range of children available needing care?

    At FCA Scotland we have several different types of fostering available and we look after children of all ages, including teenagers too. The age of the children you’re best suited to look after should always be taken into consideration by any prospective foster agency. After all, we want to match young people with the right foster carers who can help them achieve positive outcomes.

  6. Are there any social events for foster carers?

    Absolutely! It’s so important to meet other foster carers in your local area, so you can form bonds and feel like there is always someone who understands what you’re going through. That’s why we arrange fun events and activities throughout the year for the whole family to enjoy.

  7. Will I receive a competitive allowance?

    The work you are doing is incredible and life-changing, and you deserve to be rewarded. If you feel like you weren’t receiving a fair allowance with your previous agency, then we’re here to help. We offer an approximate fostering fee of around £435 per child per week, but this can be higher depending on the type of placement, the age of the child, and if they have any additional needs or specialist requirements.

  8. What are the benefits of transferring to a new agency?

    You need to know you’re going to be well looked-after by your fostering provider, so asking about benefits, incentives and rewards is a must. At FCA Scotland, we go the extra mile for you, because you go the extra mile for us. As well as a competitive salary, you’ll also receive comprehensive training and development, 24/7 support from our fostering team, and a wide range of benefits and rewards. These include:

    • £250 summer and winter bonuses, which could go towards making memories with your foster child.
    • An annual appreciation bonus from £150 up to £1,000 depending on your length of service, as well as events or local days out to celebrate Appreciation Day.
    • Gifts for each new milestone you hit, as well as for special occasions such as Christmas.
    • Generous mileage allowance to cover the costs of attending training sessions and support groups.
    • Paid for activities throughout the year to meet, chat, and have fun with other FCA Scotland foster families.
    • 14 nights of paid respite to recharge your batteries and take some time for yourself.
    • Access to our foster carer discount scheme, where you can get money off at hundreds of high street shops, online stores and supermarkets.
    • Refer-a-friend bonus where you can receive up to £3,000 when you successfully recommend someone to foster. If they get approved, you’ll receive £1,500 as a thank you payment, and another £1,500 after they’ve completed their first year of fostering.
  9. How long does it take to transfer foster agency?

    We appreciate that you’re experienced and raring to go, which is why we aim to make the transfer process as quick and easy as possible. We always fast-track experienced foster families through the assessment process - aiming to complete it within just 12 weeks of your initial enquiry.

  10. Are higher-paid fostering roles available?

    Yes, there are. If you are an experienced carer with specific qualifications then you could be eligible to foster children or young people with higher needs, or parent and child fostering, which can pay more. To find out more just give us a call and our friendly team will answer any finance question, no matter how big or small.

  11. Will I be offered more training if I transfer?

    Training is such a crucial part of your professional development, and it’s something we pride ourselves on at FCA Scotland. Our mandatory training starts as soon as you’re approved, which covers all the essentials that every foster carer needs to know. These take place at the beginning of your career with us and continue throughout with regular refreshers.

    We also offer complementary training to develop your skills and knowledge, which we actively encourage (and support) our foster carers to take part in. On top of this, we have an online portal that enhances your learning and gives you more control over how and when you learn.

  12. Do you offer different types of fostering?

    At FCA Scotland, we offer several different types of fostering. We understand that every home is unique and that you know where your strengths lie. We offer several types of fostering to suit all homes and all circumstances, including:

How to transfer foster agency

At FCA Scotland, we want to make things as simple and easy as possible to transfer to us. Giving the highest level of support for foster carers is one of our top priorities, which is why we’re available 24/7 to guide you, offer advice, or just be a friendly and empathetic ear to listen to your concerns.

If you’re keen to find out more about FCA Scotland and how to transfer foster agency to us, then it starts with a phone call. Get in touch to speak to one of our friendly fostering professionals who will be able to give you all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.

From this point, we’ll go over your Form F with you, complete all the standard checks, arrange a Fostering Panel, and get you started on your training. Since you’re already fostering, your application will be fast-tracked and the process will be much faster and simpler than the first time.

Start fostering with FCA Scotland

We know that making the decision to transfer foster agency isn’t an easy one, and a lot needs to be taken into consideration. At FCA Scotland, we’ll be by your side every step of the way and are available whenever you need us to answer any questions you might have. We’ll always strive to make things as easy and simple as possible, so you can continue doing the amazing work of changing young lives while getting the care, support, and allowances you deserve.

Get in touch with our team today and find out more about how to transfer foster agency to FCA Scotland.

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