Whilst it is important to us at UK Fostering that new foster carers are recruited to meet the increasing amount of children needing care and support, we also feel that is it vital that we reach out to those foster carers who are currently considering stopping fostering altogether. It would be such a shame for those children that experienced foster carers to leave the profession. In our conversations with foster carers who are feeling this way, foster carers often say that they feel disillusioned due to their feeling that they are lacking good support. We suggest that maybe a change from your current agency is what is needed instead.
At UK Fostering we have many carers that have done just this, and we also often speak with people who are considering returning to fostering after some time away and would like to start afresh with a new agency. We have also recently had several foster carer households return to us, as the level of support where they moved onto was not as expected!
UK Fostering has an Ofsted rating of Outstanding (in all areas, and in all of the regions that we cover), so why not have a chat with us if you are considering making a move? We can provide you with a copy of our Ofsted inspection report for your region and discuss further with you about your particular situation.
Why transfer to UK Fostering?
Because we understand that fostering is a professional role and that you as foster carers deserve to be recognised for the hard work you put in which enables you to do all of the amazing things that you do. Here are some of the benefits of being a UK Fostering foster carer:
- Great feedback: Apart from our Outstanding Ofsted rating we have lots of positive feedback from our foster carers, as well as local authority children’s social workers praising the levels of care provided by our foster carers, as well as the support given by UK Fostering supervising social workers. Here is what they had to say:
“You truly have all put a lot of heart and effort into little things that make a difference. I think that’s what makes UK Fostering so special. Thank you ”
Feedback from a Foster Carer
“You have worked tirelessly to ensure safety and ensure that your foster carers have the support required to help them manage some very complex and challenging behaviour presented by these children. I am extremely grateful for your contribution to the stability of these placements.”
Feedback from a Local Authority
- Our focus and regular support/training is to help you care and support children in a therapeutic way: Although we do not brand ourselves as a ‘therapeutic’ fostering agency, we do have an impressive list of advisors that can work with you to support your young person’s needs, including:
– Counsellors – Therapists
– Clinical Psychologist – Youth & Support Workers
– Specialist Teacher of the Deaf – SEND Specialist
– Disability Specialist – Leaving Care Advisors
More information is available on our website https://ukfostering.org.uk/our-team/#1619260347696-6d163a6e-bb8e
- Additional therapeutic based training available to experienced foster carers: This is on top of our regular ongoing foster carer training programme. This will allow you to build on your current fostering experience and knowledge as well as upskilling so that you can further support the challenges that your foster child may be going through.
- Access our current regular training programme whilst you are in the process of transferring over to us: This will be alongside our current approved foster carers. Most training is still online with many sessions recorded in case you are not able to attend on the day.
- Foster carers can expect as a minimum to receive the same allowance as what you are currently receiving when you transfer to us: Allowances vary with the age of the child and if they have additional needs, however as experienced foster carers you will receive also an enhanced rate based on your years of experience. We are happy to discuss a specific package if you are looking for a specific rate, e.g. your current rate, the support package you receive etc. You may be surprised by our generous and competitive weekly allowances – as well as the additional payments we offer!
- Transferring with foster children in situ: Your young people will transfer to UK Fostering with you at the current allowance rate, unless we pay higher. A transfer protocol meeting with take place between you, UK Fostering, your child’s social worker, and your previous agency, so that a good understanding of your child’s needs will be obtained and remain in focus whilst transferring to UK Fostering.
- Experienced Management Team across all our regions: They will meet with you early in the transfer process to give you regional specific information etc
- Our social workers typically work with less than 10 families each at a time: So there is lots of time to support you.
- Monthly visits: A supervising social worker typically visits the fostering home at least once per month, if not more, in order to provide support and guidance to the foster carer and to address any issues.
- Telephone calls: The supervising social worker calls the foster carer at least once every week, in most cases more often, to touch base and discuss anything the foster carer needs to address.
- Out of hours phone service: Available for you should you need to speak to a UK Fostering social worker for advice and support in an out of office hours emergency.
- We have local support group sessions: Some are online and others are in local areas. We also have a bi-annual newsletter for fostering households and a Youth Post magazine for young people, both of which show what you have all been up to and share interesting news and achievements by anyone in a UK Fostering household.
- Social meetings: We arrange meetings where carers can meet like-minded people and share their experiences, learn from each other and get to know people who can become part of their support network.
- Family outings: We also organise activity-based events for foster carers and their families e.g. a trip to a theme park, or an end of year celebration. These can help build positive relationships and experiences for those concerned.
- Foster carer’s support groups for Birth Children: We organise special support meetings for foster carers’ own children, where they can meet peers from other foster families.
- Discount scheme: Hundreds of discounts through a membership card with high street shops, theme parks and web based businesses.
- Access to professional advice: We recognise that managing the more practical aspects of the fostering process can be tricky with a busy lifestyle. Because of this each of our foster carers and their families are provided with direct access to the following, which are provided to anyone living within a foster family and can make a big difference:
- An accountant
- A legal advisor
- An educational advisor
Transferring to UK Fostering – what is the process?
The transfer process is fairly straightforward for you and typically proceeds as below:
- After an initial discussion with our recruitment team, a manager from your region will visit you at home and discuss your fostering skills and experience so far, as well as give you the opportunity to ask us any questions.
- If we are all happy to proceed, then we will invite you to complete an online application form. Our recruitment team can support you with this.
- Once in receipt of your application and are moving forward, then we will ask you to either resign from your current agency or if you have children placed with you then an ‘intention to resign.’
- We would then look to update your current Form F to include any changes in the household, and of course to reflect your added skills and experience from fostering. If you do not have a copy of your Form F then you can formally request a copy from your current agency via a Subject Access Request (SAR). You can also request copies of any information held by them on you, including previous annual household reviews etc.
- We will need to complete medicals, DBS police checks, work and personal references, pet assessments and health and safety checks.
- We will seek a reference from your current agency and any other agency to which you have previously applied. We will also view your file with your agency.
- We will book you on a Skills To Foster Course which will give you an opportunity to refresh your training about why you came into fostering in the first place! You may also be able to share some of your wisdom and experience as a foster carer with those that are just starting on their fostering journey. The training sessions are online.
- As mentioned earlier, if you are transferring over with foster children then a Protocol Meeting occurs to ensure that the needs and arrangements relating to your foster child/children are in place.
- Throughout the transfer process, you will have a dedicated recruitment team member as a point of contact should have any worries or concerns. They will check in with you from time to time.
- We will aim to complete the whole transfer process to the Panel within 3 to 4 months, and once presented to the Panel you will then be approved with UK Fostering.
We hope that this reassures you as to how the process works and we are happy to discuss any aspect of the process further. Here is a final word from another UK Fostering foster carer:
“Whenever we needed our SSW she was always there, sharing her skills and knowledge so that we could be the best foster carers we could possibly be. Overall, we are delighted to be part of the UK Fostering family and are amazed at how competent your social workers are.”
Feedback from a Foster Carer
We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the UK Fostering family 😊