Why should you foster with your local council?

In England, there is a critical shortage in the number of available foster parents for the number of children that need a safe place to live and every year thousands of new foster families are needed.


Foster carers who work with their local council do exactly the same role as those that work with charities, not-for-profits and Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA). They all look after vulnerable children.


Here are 6 reasons why you should foster with your local council rather than an IFA:

Number 1

You help local authorities spend more of their limited resources on children and young people


When you foster with your local council’s fostering service, you are part of the council-provided Children’s Services. Children’s Services are allocated a budget by the Council and are not allowed to make a profit. Becoming a foster carer with Bradford Fostering supports Children’s Services to spend more of its limited resources on the local children and young people that need our help.


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Number 2

You help keep money in your local area


Many IFA's are national businesses that are set up to make profits and owned by large, private equity funded venture capitalist companies.


They are used to make massive profits for their shareholders.


In 2020, the six largest independent providers of fostering placements and children’s residential placements made £219 million in profit.


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Number 3

You help young people stay closer to their friends and community


The big IFA's may take referrals for foster placements from all over the country, so IFA foster carers may look after children from anywhere in the UK, not just from the Bradford district.


IFA carers may have to travel long distances to take the child to and from school or for family time visits.


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Number 4

You're more likely to be offered more regular placements with us


As a foster carer with your local authority, you are likely to be offered more regular placements with shorter waiting times between placements. This is because local authorities contact their own fostering community before contacting IFA businesses.


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Number 5

You will receive excellent local training and support


When you become a foster carer with your local authority, you work directly with experienced professionals from your local Children’s Services, NHS and education teams that are local to you in the Bradford district.


You will be supported by a fostering supervising social worker and a 24/7 local duty system that supports you every day of the year. We also have an active fostering community of experienced foster carers through our local independent foster carers association, who are always available to offer peer support.


Your training will also be provided in the Bradford district, so you won't have to travel long distances to learn more about your role.


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Number 6

You will receive support to plan your finances


Bradford Fostering pays regular fees and allowances that are better than or comparable to most other fostering authorities and agencies in the region.


We also pay a retainer payment for up to 3 months if you are not offered a new placement.



So we may have more to offer than you think.


Bradford Council is a non-profit organisation, we put children’s welfare above profit and ensures that the council’s financial resources are used to directly support vulnerable children in their community.


If you would like to know more, get in touch today.



References:

The two reports published by the LGA regarding concerns about private equity businesses’ involvement in the provision of care placements on 29 Jan 2021 are:

  • Profit-making and Risk in Independent Children’s Social Care Placement Providers – December 2020 update – produced by Revolution Consulting

  • Barriers and Facilitators to Local Authorities and Small Providers Establishing Children’s Homes – produced by Newgate Research

Sources:


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