Guide to choosing a fostering agency.

16th October, 2023

When you have made the incredible decision to foster, much thought has gone into the choice. When it comes to choosing who you will foster with, you will want to take your time and research some options to find the best fit for you and your situation.

We here at Capstone Foster Care have come up with five key questions you should ask any fostering organisation that you speak to during your initial conversation.

1.      What are the fostering fees?

 While fees are never the motivator to foster, you will need to consider the financial implications of being a foster carer. Fees enable foster carers to dedicate more time to children and provide a better standard of care. Be sure to ask about the fees they offer, but also about the other benefits such as how often their fees are reviewed and if loyalty is rewarded.

2.      Can I speak to some of your current foster carers?

Having honest conversations with foster carers currently in the organisation will be so revealing. Perhaps even ask what the average tenure of the organisations carers is. If foster carers tend to stay for a long time, they must be doing something right.

3.      How are the caseloads weighted for supervising social workers?

This is an important one. Every fostering family will have an assigned supervising social worker, the lower their caseloads, the more hands-on with support they’ll be with the families they oversee. Having a social worker who is responsive, and you’re able to lean on will make all the difference in your fostering career. To offer some context, here at Capstone Foster Care our maximum number of fostering families per supervising social worker is twelve. However, if a family is supporting a child with particularly complex needs, this will be weighted more heavily and the supervising social workers case load numbers will be less.

4.      What training and support is offered?

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that is certainly true when you foster. Support is so vital, as is locality. We are delighted to be getting back to face-to-face training in the local areas where our fostering families are. Not only does this create a better relationship within our teams but also gives our foster carers the opportunity to get to know each other.

A great follow up question is to ask what kind of support is provided to children who’ve been through trauma. This is an area where Capstone Foster Care excels with its MATTS provision.

5.      What is the feel of the organisation?

This is a great question to get to know a little about the personality of the organisation you will be working closely with. Do they have a family feel? Or more of a corporate one? Remember, during your initial conversation the organisation you are speaking with will be assessing you, but you should be doing the same thing and assessing if the organisation is the right one for you.

When deciding on who you will foster with, we strongly advise you do your research and make a shortlist of at least 3 – 5 fostering organisations to enquire with and have those initial conversations. Most of the young people we support are of school age, you may have a preconceived idea of the age range you are looking for, but we would advise that you aim to be as open and flexible as possible to ensure a good match.

During your research you will likely come to the dilemma of local authority versus private fostering. This is very much a personal decision, and when you speak to private organisations the question around profits may be the sixth to add to your list. Here at Capstone Foster Care, we are an Employee Ownership Trust, meaning we invest heavily in staff, their training but also staffing levels to ensure the support we offer is second to none. By investing any profits it enables us to continue in our mission to better support care experienced young people once they leave care through the Capstone Care Leavers Trust.

The fostering assessment process is a lengthy one, so feel happy and comfortable with the organisation that you want to proceed with.

Ready to make a child’s future brighter? Give Capstone Foster Care a call today on 0800 012 4004, we would love to answer these questions in more detail for you.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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