Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
Credo Care - disability foster placements(20 Posts)
Does anyone have any experience of this agency please? From either side (that of carer or parent of child fostered).
I have just googled it and there is a lot of information. They are clearly an Independent Fostering Agency which means that they recruit carers for children with disabilities. They don't have any children, so they are reliant on the LA Social Services wanting to buy one of the families that they have recruited. These IFAs charge very high costs to LAs and LAs are all struggling with budgets being slashed and so cannot really afford to buy one of these IFA carers, but they have to if there is no LA care for a child.
Some LAs have contracts with the voluntary organisations like Barnardoes for providing respite carers for children with disabilities for example, but am pretty sure they wouldn't have such a contract with an IFA. Do you want to say more about your interest in this IFA.
Thank you NN. I had googled, but looking for more than the "corporate" side if you see what I mean. I didn't know how it works regarding funding and buying services, so that was useful. Prefer not to say at this stage, other than I promise I'm not a journalist/troll or anything else suspect
One of the problems of these IFAs and some of the voluntaries like Barnardoes don't actually explain to the people they recruit how it works as far as funding is concerned. Naturally many applicants think that the IFA pays their fees and all the add ons for the child, whereas it is of course the LA.
A MNetter recently had applied to Barnardoes to adopt and when asked how it worked about funding, she was told that they promote families they recruit to the LA........so I told her the truth of course. I think it is so unfair because many people go to them because they can do their assessment much quicker and they seem very keen to recruit them. I wonder why! I usually advise applicants if they are going to an IFA to ask them how many placements they have made inthe past 2 years for the age range they are considering.
The other thing though is that any child placed in an IFA will be brought back "in-house" as soon as there is a vacancy. Cameron even had the cheek to be saying that LAs should not be placing children miles out of their LA area, whilst at the same time privatising everything in sight. As I said before LAs only use IFAs when they absolutely have to and they can live at the opposite end of the country from the child who needs a placement.
As you've probably gathered I am against privatisation in any form and this is the way we are going. Cameron and his ilk won't be satisfied until they have privatised all publis services. He wants improved services whilst at the same time slashing the budgets..........oh I'd better stop or I will want all night!
No, NN please rant all you like as I'm appreciating your viewpoint. I was completely unaware that a child fostered with IFA would be brought back In House as soon as there is a vacancy, for instance. How can this be an advantage to the child, if a bond is developing between child and foster carer? Especially in cases when child has a degree of disablement and purpose is for long-term care? Is it really all about money?
maybe this thread (from february) may also help... I thought I recognised the name of the IFA
Thanks for the link Donk when surprise surprise i came out with my usual speel. Can I make an important point about these IFAs that declare they aren not for profit because all this means is that they don't pay shareholders, but they can pay themselves as much as they like, after staff costs etc., and certainly do. I have known IFA directors driving around in Porches. One director of a "notforprofit" has a string of race horses and another has bought his 4 kids houses (one a smallholding in the country) and another a house in London .....not for profit - rubbish! They are businesses and make profit - why else would they be doing it, from the goodness of their heart - I don't think so!
SDD - yes I'm afraid it is all about money in the long run because there isn't enough of it.....IF LAs were properly resourced from the gvt then of course things like bonding could be taken into account, but if the IFA fee is eating dramatically into their budgets, what else can they do, as Cameron is insisting on massive savings. He's not interested in the best interests of the child he's only interested in the massive savings he wants LA (and all public services to make) He declared in his manifesto that he would not be cutting funding for children with disabilities but that was another lie and at this very moment the French private company ATOS is trying to stop the DLA given to adults or children with disabilites. How low can you crawl.
Re the Feb thread - yes I can see that even an IFA placement is going to cost less than a residential placement (but they are no longer used for children, almost all of these large residential homes are now closed down as these children are fostered these days) so I don't see why this director is making that point. Also patients are admitted to hospital if there is a clinical need and so disabled children would not be "placed" in hospital unless there was a clinical need. He is talking of days gone by, and I distrust this director I have to say as he is trying to make a rationale for the high costs he is charging LAs.
I don't honestly think a LA would make a long term placement with an IFA for a child with disabilities, as there are LA foster carers who foster children with a disability on a long term basis.
Thank you for the link Buster, very interesting reading - I certainly didn't expect the Credo Care director to pop up on MN! And NN has provided a lot of food for thought. I'm grateful to all contributors to the thread.
NAna: Hi. Just wanted to say it can sometimes work out in best interests if the child. We are very soon off to matching pan. el and a LO living with disabilities will be coming to live with us on a permanence order. (Scotland). We are with a Vol Org. Adoption was obviously first choice bytes wasn't successful.
We have been fostering with Credo Care for over 5 years and have three long-term children with high medical needs placed with us. There are are many other families working with Credo who have between one and three children placed long-term. And contrary to what other posters here may say, long-term means just that; LAs very rarely (if ever) bring a child placed with Credo Care back 'in-house' - they are simply getting far too good a service, and the children placed are doing so well.
The agency is a non-profit organization which was started by a social worker who felt there was not enough being done by the LAs for disabled children. Extensive support and training is provided by Credo, whose main difficulty is taking on new, dedicated and skilled carers, as there are so many disabled children in care that need specialist fostering, and so few LA carers prepared/able to do this type of fostering.
In return for this, carers who complete their training and are found to be a good match for a disabled child can expect more pay than they would receive from fostering for a LA. This recognises the tremendous amount of extra responsibility, time needed, and stress caused by caring for children with high medical needs, challenging behaviour, and so on.
Credo also provides plenty of sessional and respite support from its in house team, and even pays carers holiday pay. In my view, if you want to give something back to some of the most disadvantaged children in society, you couldn't do better than talking to them - you will be hard put find anything else to do that's so rewarding as fostering a disabled child.
I thought mumsnet was supposed to be apolitical and this sounds very much like a political rant to me.
Plus the truth is that very few LA foster carers have the necessary skills or desire to foster seriously disabled children and Credo Care's fosterers frequently go the extra mile with them.
I didn't mean the post immediately above mine, which I totally concur with it was an earlier one refering to our Prime Minister, Mr Cameron.
The comment about our Prime Minister Mr Cameron by NanaNina is true. Who cares about politics when children's needs are being ignored!!
Why not register as a Carer with a LA instead? Of course the IFAs pay carers a bit more, they charge the LA gazillions more. Why not save tax payers money and work with the LA and as well as doing the right thing you will be much more likely to have placements when you want them.
I worked for this company for two years and in sorry to say what I seen and heared was shocking, they are only in it for the money , not the child interest! The support was shocking as there was so little of it, sw leaving all the time fast turn over of staff,bossy sw who have no interest in the child, but like it all to look gd on paper
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