Released On 14th Dec 2018

Switch to Local Authority Fostering

Are you fostering for an independent fostering agency but live in Somerset?

Here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider making the switch to foster for Somerset County Council (SCC).

1. Doing the best for our children.

We have a commitment to ensuring we provide sufficient good foster homes for our children according to their care plan. Fostering for your local authority helps keep children closer to their homes and schools, with carers that we know and can support wherever possible.

2. We are a ‘not for profit’ fostering service.

Every single penny of (your) taxpayer’s money is spent on delivering a good service to Somerset children and our foster carers. Since we are not for profit, we do not have to produce a profit for shareholders like some independent agencies might.

3. Weekly fees and allowances

Our specialist schemes offer payments commensurate with the rates paid by IFA’s when allowances and fees are combined. We pay all your fostering-related mileage and retainer fees between placements for specialist schemes, so you will have a regular income whilst you are a registered foster carer.

4. Ask our foster carers

All our foster carers, after approval, will receive not just the child age-linked allowance but also a fee, which for experienced carers can rise to more than £200 per week per child. Many foster carers who have transferred to us have been surprised to find that often they are financially better off with us.

“I switched to fostering with Somerset County Council as they are not-for-profit. It was honestly the best thing I’ve ever done! I still get a similar fee and allowance, but have the benefit of great support and training. Plus, the peace of mind that money is being spent entirely on the children.” Foster Carer, Eve Ford

For details on our weekly fees and allowances click here

5. Training and Support

We provide excellent training, dedicated on-call support and social groups – including regular social activities for birth children of foster carers and a welcoming community, where new carers can receive support from a foster care ‘buddy’.

6. What’s involved when I switch?

We know that being assessed as a foster carer is an onerous process and the thought of going through another assessment is understandably not particularly attractive. We strive to protect the welfare of children, while allowing carers the freedom to switch. We will obtain from your existing agency a copy of your ‘form F’ which we will need to update along with several checks. However, we will only update sufficiently to satisfy ourselves and our foster panel of your suitability and strengths. We will always invite you to attend our skills to foster course should you wish. But, provided you have completed the course and kept your training updated, we would not insist on attendance. In short, we would aim to complete any transfer in three months, during which time you will continue to be approved by your existing agency.

Talk to us informally any time.

Whoever you foster for, we want to thank you and encourage you to continue to foster, given the national shortage of foster carers.

Our dedicated Fostering in Somerset officers are available Monday to Thursday, 8.00am- 5.30pm (Fridays 8.30-4.30) to answer any questions or contact them by clicking here. You can also request a call back any time convenient to you out of hours.

We look forward to meeting you!

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