Posted: Tuesday 7th September 2021
If you are thinking about transferring to a different foster agency or local authority, here are 10 questions to ask.
- What age of children do you have for me?
- Can I transfer with the children I’m currently fostering?
- Will I get the same support?
- Do you have social events for fostering families?
- Can I have breaks, holidays and respite?
- Is my training transferrable?
- Is there higher paid fostering roles for experienced carers?
- How long does it take to transfer?
- Do I have to go through all of that again, can’t I just use my previous assessment?
- How does the money compare?
1. What age of children do you have for me?
In Flintshire last year, 54 new children were placed with our own in-house foster carers and 10 were placed with independent fostering agency carers. 50% of the children placed with our own carers were aged 0-4. We have all ages of children and different types of fostering available.
2. Can I transfer with the children I’m currently fostering?
If the children are the responsibility of our Local Authority, then yes you can easily transfer with the children you are caring for. You can only be approved with one Local Authority so if the children are from different Local Authorities this might be more tricky and will require arrangements with the other Local Authority, which may or may not be possible.
3. I’ve heard that the case loads of Local Authority social workers are high and I won’t get the same support.
Not true. You will have a dedicated social worker on the fostering team who will be available to support you. The child will still have a Local Authority social worker who is responsible for them, so that is exactly the same no matter who you foster with - except we are all based in the same office.
4. Do you have social events for fostering families?
Yes (in usual circumstances) we arrange get-togethers and trips for all fostering families and children, with lots of events in the school holidays.
We have a dedicated group for your own children too.
5. Can I have breaks and holidays, with the children going to respite?
Yes. We have respite carers available. Carers can request up to 24 days which can be taken as a 14 day block or regular breaks. Alternatively as part of Mockingbird, foster carers can have an unlimited number of short breaks, day care and overnights, these are available on-tap and at short notice.
6. Is my training transferrable?
Yes. Please show us a copy of your training record and we will correspond this with our own training. Payment with the local authority increases as you attend training, so your previous training may allow you to transfer at a higher level.
7. Is there higher paid fostering roles for experienced carers?
Yes. As an experienced carer with a QCF or NVQ qualification you could transfer at level 3. Our RAP (therapeutic), Parent and Child Together and Mockingbird hub home carer roles require at least 2 years’ experience and provide an enhanced payment.
8. How long does it take to transfer?
The most recent carer who successfully transferred to us was approved in 6 months from contacting us.
9. Do I have to go through all of that again, can’t I just use my previous assessment?
Your previous assessment is probably from a few years ago and won’t include all of your fostering experience. It is also mostly the property of your current agency. We will use the assessment process to get to know each other. We won’t linger on the basics that you already know.
10. How does the money compare?
As an agency carer you will be used to one amount per week, per child around £300-£400. As a level 3 carer with the Local Authority, you will receive a similar total payment when you are caring for one child. As a specialist carer, this increases to £600-£800+ per week.
“I decided 2 years ago to transfer to the Local Authority. I gradually became disillusioned with my agency which seemed to focus on business and profit.
I had been given the impression that if I transferred to the local authority, I would have no support and left on my own, which is far from the truth.
Fostering is never easy, but the support I’ve had from the local authority team has been fantastic. Do your research, meet the team and you won’t regret it”
Foster Carer who transferred from a fostering agency to Local Authority.