Overview: A look at the process for transferring between fostering agencies for foster carers moving to the North East or switching foster care providers. Find out about transferring foster care agencies with or without a child in placement and the Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol.
Are you moving into the North East or already living in the area and considering becoming a foster carer for the first time? This post will provide you with answers to the key questions that we know often arise. We’ll also take a look at the support available for foster carers in Newcastle and surrounding areas with The Fostering Company.
As an independent fostering agency operating in the North East for over two decades, we’ve welcomed many foster carers moving into the area. We’ve also worked with foster carers who’ve decided to switch agencies when their previous agency didn’t feel like the right fit. If you’re considering a move or change, our knowledge of the region and transfer experience means we can prepare and guide you through the process.
How to become a foster parent Newcastle – how long does it take?
The first step in your journey is the same whether you’re new to fostering or looking to transfer. All you need to do is get in touch. Talk to us, tell us about your interest in fostering, your circumstances and any concerns you have. We’ll answer your questions and chat you through the steps from application to approval. You can apply to foster online or call us on 0191 313 0371.
After our initial chat, we will arrange to visit you at your home. From application submission to approval, your journey will involve assessment, checks and training. At every stage, we’ll be on hand to let you know what you need to do and what’s coming next. We’ll also update you about any decisions as soon as we are able.
Once completed, your assessment report will be presented to a fostering panel. The panel made up of independent professionals will then make a recommendation about your approval to be a foster carer. The fostering process for new foster carers usually takes between 4-6 months, with most completing by five months.
We find the process is quicker for existing foster carers transferring agencies. Fast-tracking through some of the stages is possible as we’ll be able to refer to some information collected in your previous assessment. However, this does vary depending on circumstances. Whichever path you’re on, you’ll have support available to you each step of the way.
How do I transfer fostering agency?
You can transfer to us from another agency or local authority. Foster carers who have been approved elsewhere don’t need to have experience of foster placements to join The Fostering Company. In the UK, it’s not possible to be registered with two fostering agencies at once or to ‘carry over your certification’. But you don’t need to worry, we have lots of experience managing transfers and will make sure your switch goes as smoothly as possible. When you decide to transfer to The Fostering Company, we will work with your existing agency to plan an effective transfer timeline.
We are committed to ensuring the stability of placements for any foster children already in your care and we do this by following the transfer of foster carers protocols for a child-centric approach.
Your step by step for transferring foster agency
Step 1 – Talk to us
We’ll chat to you to gather details and complete an initial assessment with you.
Step 2 – Meet with us
After this initial discussion, we’ll arrange a face-to-face meeting in our office or at your home to get to know each other better. We’ll chat about your experience, circumstances and hopes for fostering.
Step 3 – Application
If both parties feel like we’re a good fit, the next step is to submit a detailed application form. You’ll also need to inform your current provider that you’re talking to other agencies. You do this by submitting an ‘intent to transfer’ letter, which is not the same as resignation (which comes later). Our team can provide sample letters that you can use as a guide and advise you on the process.
Step 4 – Assessment
Transferring foster carers are subject to the same checks and two-stage assessment as those applying for the role for the first time. You’ll be allocated an assessing social worker to take you through the fast-tracked process with background checks and visits to your home. We’ll also speak to your existing foster carer providers. Because you’ve previously completed assessment paperwork, we find this process is usually faster for those switching agencies.
Step 5 – Fostering Panel
Your completed assessment will be considered by a fostering panel of independent professionals and an experienced foster carer, who will make a recommendation about your approval. You will have the opportunity to attend this session.
Step 6 – Approval for transfer
Following an approval by the panel, we’ll inform you verbally and in writing of approval for transfer. It’s at this point you’ll need to resign from your current agency. We can advise you on this process and work with you on the timings. You will transfer to the Fostering Company 28 days after submitting your resignation. As a member of our fostering family, you’ll enjoy access to generous benefits, plus ongoing support and specialist training.
What our transferring foster carers say
“I transferred to The Fostering Company three years ago. The transfer was very well organised and a smooth and straightforward transition. The Fostering Company offers outstanding support at any hour – day or night, and that’s the whole team.”
Lydia, Foster Carer
Answering 3 frequently asked questions from transferring foster carers
Can I transfer fostering agencies with a Child in placement?
It is possible to transfer fostering agencies even if you have a child or young person in placement with you. In these circumstances there are a few additional steps to follow. We will work alongside your current agency and the local authority to ensure the safety and stability of any foster children in your care.
In addition to the steps for transfer above, a Transfer Protocol meeting will be arranged within 28 days of you submitting your intent to transfer. During the meeting yourself, your current agency, local authority and The Fostering Company will discuss the needs and care plan of any children in your care and plan a way forward. We’ve lots of experience of attending these meetings, so we can help you prepare and let you know what to expect.
Will payments and benefits be the same if I transfer with a child in my care?
We typically honour the current fostering allowance arrangement for transferring placements for at least the first year.
Will I need to complete the full application process again?
We will always aim to get to know you as well as possible and must complete mandatory assessments and checks. If you have been through the full fostering approval process more recently it’s likely there will be less information to update, but this will depend on your individual circumstances.
Are you ready to make a move?
Whether you’re with a fostering agency or the local authority, the transferring process is quite straightforward and we’ll be on hand to guide and support you. Speak to our team today and we can take you through the initial assessment.