Is It Time to Transfer to a Different Fostering Provider?
Let's delve into the friendly cues that suggest it's the perfect moment to consider a provider switch, along with the wonderful benefits that come your way once you make the switch!
We explore when you know it’s time to transfer to a new provider.
When it comes to continuing your fostering journey, often staying with the provider you started with feels like the right choice. After all, you know how they work, and what’s more, they know you and your family. However, this isn’t always the best-case scenario. Changing what (and who) you know may seem daunting, but it could be the right thing to do.
We understand that this step can be challenging and difficult, but in the following blog, we explore the key signs it’s time to switch providers and the benefits you will enjoy after doing so.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Provider
The role of an independent fostering provider is to work alongside the local authority in your area to provide loving, safe, and supportive homes for children. When a local authority cannot place a child, having an independent provider on hand is crucial to ensure a child receives only the best care. At Fostering People, we work with local authorities from Buckinghamshire to Aberdeen, so whether you are located in scenic Yorkshire, glorious Glasgow, or bracing Teeside, our team innately knows how to get the best home for every child.
Ultimately, the provider you choose is critical to building your family. Choose one that doesn’t work for you and run the risk of not achieving the best for your family and foster child. Choose one who doesn’t see where or how you might make the most impact, and you run the risk of not helping a child who needs your skills the most.
By joining an independent fostering provider family like ours, you will enjoy an array of benefits, all while knowing you’re making a difference to a child’s future.
Signs that It Might Be Time for a Change
So, how do you know when it’s time to move from one provider to the next? There are a number of signs, but the following three are ones you should really pay attention to:
- You lack a strong support network: Support is everything when building your fostering experience. You won’t know everything instantly, and you will face situations you are unsure how to deal with effectively. If your current provider leaves you to get on with it and isn’t available when you need them, it’s time to find someone who will be there. It’s time to move on to a provider who builds strong networks where everyone feels at ease and like part of a family.
- You feel you can help in different ways: Not all fostering is made equal. Your current provider may work primarily with long-term fostering families, whereas you may feel you can help a short-term foster child more successfully. Both types of fostering are crucial, so if you think your current provider doesn’t give you the different opportunities, it’s time to switch.
- You require more support than what your current provider can give: This often applies to financial aid with fostering. Your current provider may not have an adequate fostering allowance for your needs; you may need a higher allowance than they are offering because you hope to give a child with a disability a loving, secure home.
Benefits of Transferring Providers
Still unsure whether transferring is worth it? The following benefits are just a few that you can enjoy should you change providers to an expert agency such as ours:
- Financial Aid: Money can be a concern for foster parents, especially if you are required to step back from a 9-to-5 lifestyle that gives a steady income. You can receive a generous allowance when you transfer to a new provider, such as us at Fostering People. This allowance can be as much as £24,300 per year for fostering one child between the ages of 5 and 10. This can be more depending on the needs of the children in your care. You can use our Financial Calculator to gain an understanding of the allowance you may receive.
- Training: There is no limit on how much training a foster parent may need. There is such a wide range of situations that might arise and behavioural concerns that you may have that you have not dealt with previously. Transferring to a provider that offers vital training is key for moving forward on your fostering journey. Look for a fostering provider who provides training in areas such as safeguarding, mental health, emotional behaviour and wellbeing, and neurodiversity. What’s more, look for a provider that offers flexible, ongoing training available via online source and in person. Our training does all this and more!
- Network: You should never feel alone as a foster parent. It takes a village to raise a child, and this truly relates to fostering a child. Your village should give you confidence and propel you further. Seek a fostering provider who connects you with other foster parents in your area and hosts regular meetings and events. At Fostering People, our model is based on being local, so we ensure we are in your area to be there for you and your foster child.
- Paid Respite: No parent in the world doesn’t need a break. Taking proper, adequate breaks enables you to refresh, rejuvenate, and return even stronger for your family. Switching to a fostering provider who offers paid respite allows you to relax and unwind, even if you feel you don’t need it.
- Quality: Not all fostering providers are equal, because of this all providers are inspected every three years by Ofsted. At Fostering People, we have been rated as Outstanding in every area in our last 4 inspections, making us one of the best independent fostering agencies in the UK.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you’re ready to transfer to us, we’re excited to welcome you to our family! Be aware transferring can take approximately three months. All you need to do is send our team an enquiry, and one of our experts will be in touch. Every enquiry is dealt with in the strictest of confidence, so you don’t need to worry about it affecting your current relationship with a provider.