Transfer Fostering Agency – How to Change Agency as Foster Carers
We understand that every day as a foster carer is a unique and challenging experience. That’s why it’s important that you feel valued, supported and rewarded – both emotionally and financially.
Transferring to another fostering agency is a big decision. We recognise this, which is why we strive to help make your transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. So if you’ve asked yourself the question, “Can I change fostering agency?”, this guide is designed to help understand the process.
Transferring from One Private Fostering Agency to Another
If you’re considering transferring fostering agencies but don’t know where to start – don’t worry. As a foster carer, you have the right to freedom of movement between fostering agencies. During the process of transferring, your views alongside those of the child in your care (if applicable) will be taken into full consideration. At Perpetual Fostering we follow The Fostering Network’s official Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol, which you can learn more about here.
In this guide we explain the transition procedure in full, explaining a step by step guide detailing how to transfer from one private fostering agency to another and how this differs depending on whether or not you currently have a child in placement.
Changing fostering agencies if you currently have a child in placement
Usually, the biggest concern for carers wishing to transfer is how it will affect the child currently in their care. Because of this, we make it our primary goal is to ensure continuity of care for the child in placement as well as aiming to make the transfer process as fast as possible.
Step 1: Written Notice and Meeting
If you’re currently providing care for a child, you need to give written notice to your current fostering agency and the local authority. The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) will then be informed and will organise a meeting within the next 28 days to discuss your request with the placing authority, the current fostering agency, the new fostering agency and yourself. This meeting will take a wide range of factors into account in order to come to a decision.
Step 2: Resignation from Current Fostering Agency
The new fostering agency will complete their assessment before the fostering panel makes their decision to approve. As the foster carer, you should then submit your letter of resignation to the current fostering agency. This can be given in person or by post (recorded and signed for) and will mean that your approval with your current agency will be terminated 28 days from when the written notice of resignation was received.
Step 3: Approval
The ADM (Agency Decision Maker) will then state approval, which takes place on the same day as when notice with your current service ends.
Changing fostering agencies if you don’t have a child in placement
Step 1: Written Notice
If you do not have a child in placement, you will be required to give written notice to your current fostering agency informing them of your intent to transfer. You may wish to discuss your intentions with the new fostering agency before you give notice to your current agency, though. The new fostering agency will then conduct an assessment and confirm whether or not they would like to approve you as a foster carer.
Step 2: Resignation from Current Fostering Agency
Once the new service provider has completed their assessment, you will be informed that they want to seek your approval as a foster carer. You should then provide written notice of your resignation to your current fostering agency. This can be given in person or by recorded and signed for post and will result in your approval with the current agency being terminated 28 days after your resignation letter has been received.
Can You Transfer to a Private Fostering Agency from Local Authority?
Yes. The process of transferring agencies is the exact same, whether you’re moving between local authorities, private fostering agencies or from one to the other.
How long does it take to transfer fostering agencies?
This depends on your independent circumstances, as the process can differ from person to person. However, on the whole the process of transferring fostering agencies is significantly quicker than processing a new application.
Why do people move fostering agencies?
Typical reasons for wanting to change fostering agencies include unresolved conflicts, lack of support, lack of robust matching or lack of placements, lack of quality training, difficulty in relationships with supervising social worker, not feeling valued or part of a community, no clear guidance and help or no opportunity to develop.
So how can we help?
Here at Perpetual Fostering, we always go above and beyond to ensure all of our foster carers have the support, training and encouragement they need, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And we’re here to guide you every step of the way through the transition.
We consider ourselves to be a community that supports one another and endeavour to ensure that our carers feel listened to, supported and a part of our organisation. Matching children with the right carers is of utmost importance to us, we not only consider foster carers but the whole family. We involve birth children and wider family members and provide training individually, as a group or online, as well as providing support group forums, activity days out and more.
“With Perpetual Fostering we felt part of the community from the outset. It was never them and us, but we were together as a team. From my experience, that is a big thing. If ever there is an issue, we can pick up the phone and they will be there and they will be helpful.”
– Mike, Foster Carer
Get in touch if you think you might be interested in talking to a member of our fostering community who has successfully been through the transfer process, or if you’d like to speak in confidence to an experienced member of our team.