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A Step-by-Step Guide to Transferring Agencies

Explore our comprehensive guide on transferring fostering agencies. Gain insights and step-by-step tips to ensure a smooth transition for you and the children in your care. Make informed decisions for a positive fostering experience.

January 24 2024 - 5 min read

If it’s time to transfer to a new fostering agency, you will find the following steps essential to know.

Choosing a fostering agency can make or break your fostering journey. Sometimes, the relationship we experience with a fostering agency runs its course. This can happen for a range of reasons. You may need more dedicated support, a more extensive network of people to speak to, and potentially a higher financial allowance to enable you to provide a higher standard of care. As a foster parent, you deserve the very best from your agency, and if you’re not finding that currently, it is a sign you may need to move on.

If you are considering transferring agencies, our guide below will walk you through the process, enabling you to find a resolution quickly.

Step 1: Potential New Agencies Research

Your first step is, of course, to research the different agencies that are available to you. Not all agencies are the same; not all agencies offer what you need and want. For example, if you wish to foster a child who shares your faith and culture, choosing a foster provider who will match you with a child of that faith will enable you to help the child stay connected to their culture. By fostering a child of the same faith, you will also help raise the child, knowing who they are and where they come from.

What’s more, with research, you will find what is available in your location. Applying to an agency that doesn’t serve your local area is not advised!

Your research should also highlight the following elements:

  • Ofsted Rating: Much like academic establishments, fostering agencies are rated by Ofsted.
  • Community and Support Network: Does the new agency have a dedicated support network on hand to help you with any query?
  • Financial Allowances: We know that finances are not the most critical factor, but you need to consider what financial allowance your new agency can offer compared to your current one.
  • Training Opportunities: No parent knows too much, and you will come up against obstacles and scenarios you’ve never experienced before. Look for an agency with a comprehensive training programme to help develop vital skills that will also help your career.
  • Caters to Your Culture: There is a range of faiths and cultures in our multi-cultural country, so it stands to reason that children of all faiths and cultures are looking for a home. For foster parents who are Sikh, Jewish or Muslim, looking for an agency that understands the nuances of each religion is essential.

Step 2: Communication with Your Current Agency

With this step, you are under no obligation to discuss your decision with your current agency before you apply to move to a new provider. However, having an open and honest discussion may open more doors, and you may find the agency is able to offer more support.

However, if you take this step and it doesn’t go well or skip it altogether, the next port of call is your application.

Step 3: Application and Assessment

To start the process all you need to do is complete the enquiry form on our website, and our experts will call you back to discuss more.

As you are already a pre-qualified foster parent, the application process can be shorter than the initial fostering application. Ensure your new agency can assist at every stage, from assessment to approval. That way, you can sit back and enjoy the process, knowing that your new provider has everything in hand.

Remember: You will need to complete a new Form F assessment with your new agency, as the assessment belongs to the agency that conducted it initially. Therefore, it is not transferable.

If you want to transfer to us, you can find the information you need online, and we offer a range of communication options, including email, phone calls, or even popping in to see us at our head office in Oldbury. We aim to transfer you from your previous agency in approximately four months.

Step 4: Myths About Transferring

As with anything in life, certain myths have arisen about transferring fostering agencies. The top ones include:

  • Your foster child will be affected: A common myth is your existing child placement will be affected, perhaps to the point where the child is taken out of your care. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All agencies want children to feel safe and secure, and no one wants to remove a child unnecessarily from a home.
  • You cannot transfer the child you’re fostering: In some cases, you can transfer the child you’re fostering along with your application. A protocol meeting will often be held between the local authority, your current provider, and the provider you wish to change to. This meeting is to ensure the very best care for your foster child. Very occasionally, it may be determined that moving agency is not in the best interest of your foster child. However, if this is the case, you will simply need to wait until the placement reaches a natural or planned end before continuing with your transfer.
  • Transferring is complicated and takes years: As you’re already pre-qualified, the process will be quicker than your initial fostering application. However, it can still take several months. We aim to complete the transfer in four months.

Step 5: Start Your New Fostering Journey

You’ve found your new agency. You’ve completed the application. What’s next?

Next is getting ready to start your new fostering journey! If you are ready to welcome a new child to your home, now is the time to prepare for their arrival. Ensure they have everything ready for their items, from a welcome box to a bedroom. For those fostering children of a specific faith or culture, ensure you have the required knowledge and items to help them settle in quickly.

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