Choosing a fostering provider
When choosing a fostering provider you have two choices:
- foster with the Local Authority (LA)
- foster with an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA)
All children come into care through their Local Authority and as an Outstanding local fostering provider we will always look to place children who need foster homes with our in-house carers first.
This means that our foster carers are more likely to get more regular placements within their preferred age range.
Differences between LA and IFA
Although we do work with and occasionally use Independent Fostering Agencies, there are some differences when considering a Local Authority or private agency.
Many IFAs offer a quality training package. As a local fostering provider our training is based around our award-winning Caring2Learn model which has a proven track record of equipping foster carers to build resilience and provide children with a safe, stable and therapeutic learning environment with a child-centred approach.
As a Lincolnshire foster carer you'll be supported to develop skills by accessing training you need to really make a positive difference to children's lives. We support the personal and professional development of our foster carers, providing access and support as an equal member of the Children's Services Team.
Our foster carers are provided with training to help build their skills and knowledge so they are able to offer a therapeutic style of care where children can feel safe, heal and reach their full potential.
Fostering allowances will vary between different LA providers, but fees private agencies offer are often higher.
Local Authorities offer additional financial incentives, expenses and funding that often aren't offered within an IFA arrangement.
On top of fees paid for looking after a child with Lincolnshire you'll also have opportunities to earn more by becoming a Foster Carer Champion.
You can find out more about our offering to fosterers in our Fostering Payments Handbook.
The age of the children and young people that private agencies place are usually higher than they are with Local Authorities.
LAs often find it harder to place older children so these children are often placed with fostering agencies. Although LAs aim to increase the numbers of carers for older children we also require foster carers for children from birth.
In Lincolnshire, we use the Valuing Care Model; an approach that allows us to accurately build a profile for a child's needs and foster carers' strengths to support matching that allows us to identify the foster carer who is able to meet a high level of a child's needs.
This also allows us to accurately determine the support package required for the child and foster carer.
Fostering agencies are usually located to cover whole regions or spread out nationally.
We have a strong local infrastructure with a team of specialists to support foster carers and children in care which ranges from general advice, guidance, activities and events for children and young people, foster families and support groups, to specialist therapeutic intervention.
Like many fostering agencies we work within a trauma informed organisational framework that is solution focused, therapeutic and relational.
We have a range of therapies that foster carers can access for children in their care where a need is identified.
As an outstanding LA we offer a high level of support. We have an award-winning, community training package designed by our foster carers, for our foster carers.
We have a local dedicated team of Social Workers, therapists, education support officers, family support and, with a strong sense of community, foster carers are also offered a range of local respite opportunities.
If you have any questions about fostering or are unsure which agency to choose, please contact our dedicated recruitment team on [email protected]
We are also able to offer you a phone call with an experienced foster carer if you think that would be beneficial.