Considering Fostering? 3 questions you should ask your fostering agency.

We understand how hard it can be to chose a fostering agency. An internet search will reveal many agencies and local authorities that appear to offer similar services, so how do you chose the right agency for you?

Our advice is to do your homework and then ask as many questions as possible.

Below are 3 questions we suggest you should always ask to make sure your choice is as informed as possible;

  1. What is your Ofsted rating?

All fostering agencies are regulated by Ofsted. They are an independent regulator that inspect every fostering agency and just like schools they will rate the provider from “inadequate” to “Outstanding”.  Achieving an Outstanding rating is difficult and is an indicator of excellence in all aspects of the agency.

In addition, make sure you read the accompanying Ofsted report ( easily available from the Ofsted site) but every agency should have a direct link on their website. This report will detail why the agency has received their rating.

Fair Ways are rated Outstanding by Ofsted and this is a testament to years of hard work by the team to develop a really supportive service for all carers.

  • What makes you different from other agencies?

To be able to differentiate between agencies we think it’s important to look at the details as well as their bigger vision. All agencies will say they provide excellent training support and pay. Please explore these claims and ask them how they do this differently to other agencies, with specific examples.  

Fair Ways are different because we are a charity. We are driven by making a difference to the young people and foster carers we support and not driven by financial returns. Of course any business must make a profit or surplus to thrive and reinvest, but as a charity, Fair Ways do not make high profit margins to service external financial needs.

Instead we reinvest our surplus into our foster carers and young people, this means;

  • We can pay our foster carers higher rates and widest range of allowances than the majority of our competitors.
  • Our supervising social workers can offer foster carers more tailored and in-depth support as they will never oversee more than 10 families.   
  • Fair Ways directly offers a range of therapies from directly employed qualified practitioners.
  • We provide industry leading trauma informed care training.
  • We deliver participation days to empower the voices of the individuals in our care.
  • Will I get paid if I haven’t got a child in placement?

Almost all agencies will not be in a position to support carers if there is no child in placement.

Being able to afford the bills is at the top of minds right now in the UK. So it is important to understand what will happen if you want to take a break from fostering, or haven’t got a child living with you for a period of time.

A unique benefit Fair Ways offers is the ability to work across our other services. During the assessment process Fair Ways will ensure carers are qualified to work elsewhere. This offers greater financial stability, provides an extra income and gives carers the chance to gain valuable skills and experience to bring to their fostering practice.

We hope this blog assist you in making your choice of agency. To find out more about why you should choose to foster with Fair Ways please email us on fostering.info@fairways.co or drop us a message on social media, we would love to talk to you.

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