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Understanding The Different Types of Fostering Agencies

Fostering agencies play a crucial role in providing safe and nurturing environments for children who are unable to live with their birth families. Although similar in their function, not all fostering agencies are the same. Fostering agencies vary in the following ways…

  • The level of support and training they offer.
  • Their specialisation: such as agencies dedicated to finding homes for children with disabilities.
  • Their values as a fostering agency.
  • The size of the agency and the locations they operate in.

Understanding the offerings of different fostering agencies can help prospective foster parents make informed decisions about which fostering agency to choose.

Independent Fostering Agencies.

Independent fostering agencies are organisations that work alongside local authorities to help match children with families who are approved to foster. Fostering agencies often vary in size and can cover multiple regions or even operate nationally. In Wales independent fostering agencies are regulated by specific Welsh legislation and are subject to CIW inspections.

We are an independent fostering agency which began in the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire region of South Wales. As a small, family run agency, we pride ourselves in our ability to know all of our fostering families well. Since our beginning we have grown to cover the whole of South Wales, however, our ethos of getting to know our fostering families, understanding their needs, and offering training and support locally, is still engrained in everything that we do.

Training and Support provided.

At our recent inspection, CIW quoted “The agency places a high value on supporting foster carers to develop their resilience and skills through comprehensive training and fortnightly visits to foster homes”. One of the key benefits of fostering with an independent fostering agency is the diversity of support services and training programmes we offer. Because we are not tied to a specific local authority, we tailor our services to meet the needs of both the foster carers and the children in their care. As the needs of our fostering families change or evolve, our training and level of support reflects these changes.  You can find out more about the tailored training that our fostering agency provides by clicking here.

Foster parents at Family Fostering Partners also benefit from regular support groups, trips, ‘fun days’, and a closed private Facebook group to share in each other’s successes, which in turn builds our fostering community.

In addition to this, each of our fostering families have a designated Link Worker that visits once a fortnight. In addition, we also provide a 24/7 on call service, available to our foster parents for advice or guidance. All foster parents with Family Fostering Partners also have access to Foster Talk, who provide free legal advice, medical advice, discounts and more! – click here to read more.

Specialist Fostering Agencies.

Specialist fostering agencies focus on providing care for specific groups of children with unique needs. These agencies may specialise in providing foster care for children with disabilities, for example.

Choosing a specialist fostering agency can be beneficial for foster carers who have experience or a particular interest in caring for specific groups of children. These agencies often have specialised training programs and support services designed to meet the unique needs of the children in their care.

At Family Fostering Partners, our families support a variety of young people. This includes parent and child placements, children with disabilities or additional needs, and babies through to young adults.

Therapeutic Fostering Agencies.

Therapeutic fostering agencies like Family Fostering Partners specialise in providing foster care for children. Most children who require foster care have sadly experienced trauma or adverse childhood experiences. We prioritise the emotional well-being and mental health of the children in our collective care, offering specialised therapeutic interventions and support services.

Foster carers working with therapeutic agencies should receive extensive training in trauma-informed care and may have access to additional support from psychologists, counsellors, and other mental health professionals where needed.

Values and Beliefs. 

When considering which fostering agency to approach, it’s important to look at their values and beliefs; do they align with yours? At Family Fostering Partners, we believe in a therapeutic, child centred approach. Nobody within the agency is inaccessible, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our foster parents feel supported, and that the children in their care receive the best possible outcomes. “Family Fostering Partners is a service which clearly places children’s well-being at the centre of everything it does.” – a quote from our recent CIW Inspection. Click here to read the full report.

Is Family Fostering Partners the right fostering agency for me? 

At Family Fostering Partners, we will always be open and honest about being mutually a good fit. If we do not cover your local area, or offer something that is important to you, then we are happy to suggest other agencies you might find useful. Openness and honesty are key to any working relationship, and we promise that from the very beginning of your fostering journey.

Choosing the Right Fostering Agency.

Fostering agencies play a vital role in providing safe and nurturing homes for children in need. Understanding the different types of fostering agencies and the level of support and training they offer can help prospective foster carers make informed decisions about which agency to choose. Whether you choose to foster with a large agency that covers a huge geographic area, or a smaller agency where you will form close bonds with other fostering families in your area, the choice is yours.

If you would like to discuss whether Family Fostering Partners is the right foster care agency for you there are numerous ways in which you can get in touch with us. You can use our live chat feature to talk directly with a member of our team, alternatively, you can visit our “Contact Us” page, or you can phone us directly on 0330 0948816.

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