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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

If considering an IFA...

(6 Posts)
HappilyChatterly Sun 01-Sep-13 14:14:27

Think really, really hard! I was approved 9 months ago, still no closer to a placement, the pressure to accept an unsuitable placement is mounting! Ask the agency for specific examples of how long people wait, don't accept an "on average carers wait x months..." Ask for specific examples of the last 5 carers approved. I am now about to hand in my notice and go with LA. With my agency, yes you get respite and sessional but this costs LA £2000+ a week- that's why the agency is the very last resort for LAs. All things I found out post panel- be smarter than me, ask tough questions!

Roshbegosh Sun 01-Sep-13 18:51:12

Definitely, go with the LA. A placement in an IFA has to go to a resources panel for approval as they cost the LA so much and that is why IFA carers are often without placements or are given placements that have failed with their in-house carers. I know the agencies might be good for days out and things but really, why do fostering for altruistic reasons if you end up screwing the LA financially?

jessie26 Tue 03-Sep-13 19:23:03

I would have totally agreed with Roshbegosh until our latest placement. This has magnified the differences between LA and IFA for us, and so my opinion is not as clear cut as it was. Please read my thread entitled "money, money, money."

Good luck whatever you decide!

NanaNina Fri 06-Sep-13 19:30:04

Hi HC as a retired sw and tm manager for a LA Fostering & Adoption team I am always ready to explain to poster exactly how IFAs work and how they have to "sell" their families to the LA, and as Rosh says LAs who are horrendously under-resourced will only "buy" an IFA placement as a very last resort. I think it is very deceitful that IFAs don't explain how things work as part of the recruitment process.

The other thing that needs to be said is that the IFA Directors are doing very well financially. I know of several who are driving Porches and have second homes in the Med etc. Some IFAs claim they are "not-for-profit" organisations but all this means is that they don't pay shareholders but this doesn't prevent them from taking huge salaries for themselves out of the profits that they make from LAs.

Jessie I will have a look at your thread. I know that IFAs build additional costings into their invoices for therapeutic help for children and any other services that the child may need. Whilst this is advantageous to children and carers, it simply means that there are fewer and fewer resources available to LA children and LA foster carers.

In the end it depends whether you want to help line the pockets of these entrepreneurs or foster for the LA. Having said that I can't blame IFA carers as they are going to be paid so much better than LA carers and the children they care for are going to get better services.

Mum2lots Tue 10-Sep-13 23:39:30


suzylee73 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:17:42

I work for an IFA and I always have. I haven't had any problems with them luckily. I am aware that as they charge the LA a lot (I assume) we carers then tend to get the more difficult placements and rightly so. I don't like that they charge so much when the LA's are all struggling for funds and I am thinking about leaving my cozy blanket of an agency. All the money they charge for things like therapeutic services, support workers etc aren't often used by the carers and it's money in the IFA's pocket. As an agency carer I am lead to believe that working for the LA directly is awful with low pay and no support, this can't be true, can it?

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