How to Choose the Right Fostering Agency for You - The Solihull Observer

How to Choose the Right Fostering Agency for You

Choosing the right fostering agency is crucial when you decide to become a foster carer. The agency you pick will provide the training, support and guidance needed to successfully care for foster children. This article outlines what to look for when selecting an agency that meets your needs. Let’s dive right in.

Consider Their Training Programme

A quality fostering agency should provide comprehensive training to fully prepare you for your vital role. Look for one offering courses like Safeguarding and Child Protection, Attachment and Bonding, Managing Behaviour and Understanding Trauma. Additionally, some agencies, such as ISP Fostering, may provide specialist training on subjects like Autism Awareness and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. This training will equip you with the knowledge to understand and meet the often-complex needs of children in care.

Evaluate Their Ongoing Support




As well as upfront training, find out what ongoing support the agency provides its carers. Do they have a 24-hour advice line? What out-of-hours and respite care do they offer? Can you easily contact a dedicated social worker with any issues or concerns? Comprehensive support will help you navigate the ups and downs of foster caring. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the practical and emotional backing they supply carers.

Assess Reviews and Procedures


While fostering can be incredibly rewarding, aspects like reviews, paperwork and processes can also feel demanding. A good agency appreciates this and seeks feedback to continuously improve. Ask about how frequently they review carers’ progress and if they use both formal and informal procedures. Carer annual reviews should assess your strengths, training needs and agreement on suitable placements.

Location Is Also Important

Consider if the locations of an agency’s foster children match where you want to care for a child. Travelling long distances for visits can become impractical and hinder relationship building. Finding an agency operating locally or regionally may provide better placement matches in terms of culture, language, religion, etc. Don’t hesitate to discuss your preferences around location and they can advise what is viable.

Meet Other Foster Carers They Support

Talking with experienced foster carers linked to an agency will provide genuine insight into their quality. Ask about training, the review process, type of support given and any frustrations dealing with the agency. While not all experiences will be universal, it illuminates the areas that are working well alongside any weaknesses to address. If current carers are unwilling to speak with you, be wary of underlying issues.

Selecting the fostering agency best suited to you requires careful evaluation around their training, support, procedures and placements. While assessing these key areas takes effort, it ensures you find an agency facilitating your path to becoming the best foster carer possible. The rewards of fostering come through patience, compassion and commitment. Choosing the right agency provides a supportive foundation upon which you can build positive change in a foster child’s life.

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