So, you’re thinking of transferring fostering agency?
As an existing foster carer, you will be familiar with the application process. We’ll start with a chat on the phone to talk about your situation and why you’re thinking of transferring.
We are confident in saying the support we can offer you is hard to beat.
In recent years we have seen many carers change fostering agency to join Family Care, so you’ll be in good company.
If you wish, we can arrange a call with one of our foster carers to talk about the transferring process and what it’s like to foster with us.
Just speak with a member of our fostering team today for more information.
“Once placed, a child is not removed from a foster carer who is willing and able to continue caring for the child, unless that is in their best interests, taking the child’s current wishes and feelings into account, and decided through the child’s care planning process”
Fostering Services National Minimum Standards and The Children Act 1989.
Change Fostering Agency
There are transfer protocols in place for carers wishing to change fostering agency.
Produced by the Fostering Network, the transfer protocol is reviewed and revised at regular intervals. It is compliant with Fostering England regulations (2011) and supported by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).
The guiding principles of the transfer protocol serve to reinforce the ethos of child-centred care planning and child-centred decision making. Financial factors alone should never determine a placement move.
Fostering Transfer Protocol
There are six principles governing the transfer of foster carers in England.
For carers who want to change fostering agency, the first three principles highlighted in pink are probably the most important to you:
All foster carers have the right to freedom of movement between fostering services
Foster carers are classed as self-employed and all carers have the right to change foster agency if they wish to.
It must be ensured that children in placement are guarded against unplanned moves and/or moves which are not in their best interests
Children should remain with their foster family unless it is deemed not in their best interests, and the responsible authority cannot terminate a placement unless it has been considered by a case review.
Consideration will be given to the views of the child, and where applicable the views of parent(s) and other relevant parties
The primary consideration in all transfers must be the welfare of the child as enshrined in the Children Act 1989.
The protocol recognises the principles of childcare legislation and seeks to ensure that safeguarding the welfare of children is at the core of fostering policy and practice.
The welfare of any child in placement is paramount.
Fostering services should be committed to the active recruitment of people new to fostering.
New carers are crucial to support the growing number of children in care.
Fostering Services and Independent Fostering Agencies will comply with all relevant legislation, regulation, standards, and statutory guidance
Services should be regulated by Ofsted and comply with the above.
Change Foster Agency Process
We understand changing foster agency won’t be a decision made lightly. There will be many things you want to know before you can confidently make that decision, and right at the heart of those will be the child or children in your care.
Below we have outlined the basic procedure for transferring foster agency where there is a child in the home, and where there is not.
Change foster agency with a child in the foster home
After you’ve spoken with your next agency and have completed the home visit, you should inform your current fostering service and the placing authority/authorities in writing that you are considering a move. This is commonly referred to as a ‘notice of intent to resign’. Once notice of intent has been provided, the next agency can begin their assessment.
Upon receipt on the notice of intent, the placing authority must inform the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) of the intended change and convene a transfer-protocol meeting within 28-days.
Change foster agency without a child in the foster home
Once the home visit is complete, you must inform your current agency in writing that you are considering a move. This is commonly referred to as a ‘notice of intent to resign’. Once notice of intent has been provided, the next agency can begin their assessment.
When the assessment is complete and the outcome is to seek approval, you must give written notice of resignation to your current service. Your approval with the current service will be terminated 28 days after written notice of resignation has been submitted. If there is no child in the home, this notice period can often be waived.
Regardless of which service you decide to foster with, you should be receiving the right support along the way. Read about the support we offer and see how this compares to your current agency.