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Transferring to Empower Fostering

Already a Foster Carer and looking to move to a fostering agency rated 'Good' by Ofsted?
It's easier than you think. 

Transferring to Empower Fostering

Sometimes we need to make a change. If you are looking at the option of changing fostering agencies or are currently fostering for a local authority and would like to move to us, then we are here to help. Whatever your reason, be assured that as a Foster Carer, you have the right to move to another agency. 

Why not come and join a fostering agency that has been created by a dedicated group of Foster Carers themselves? 

What service can I expect from Empower Fostering?

Empower Fostering is a Foster Carer-founded and led agency; small enough to be responsive but large enough to offer security. We pride ourselves on achieving the very best for young people in our care and providing the best local support and training delivered by experienced and approachable social workers who know you and the children in your care. We work hard to ensure that your work is recognised and that you are valued as an equal member of the Empower Fostering team.

How long will transferring take and what's involved?

Empower Fostering is highly experienced in managing the transfer process on your behalf. However, we know from experience that you will be anxious about changing. You may feel daunted by having to go through the approval process again, or you may be worried about how it might affect the placement of the children in your care. 

We know it is human nature to choose the status quo and to put up with the frustration, lack of support and feelings of being undervalued by your current agency because it's easier than going through the transfer process. 

At Empower Fostering, if you have been willing to devote your time to caring for young people in your home, we will ensure that you receive our very best support. This starts from day one, with us working as quickly as possible to transfer you to our agency so you can continue to do the job you love, fully supported by our brilliant team. 

All fostering agencies subscribe to the Fostering Network's Transfer Protocol, which states: 

"The transfer of carers Protocol is based on the assumption that carers have the right to freedom of movement between fostering services; the principle that, in all circumstances, the welfare of any child must be paramount."

How long will the transfer take?

The process of transferring to Empower Fostering is always discussed on an individual bases. However, on average, it takes around 4-6 months. Your current fostering agency is obliged to provide a range of information as part of the transfer, including access to your existing file. This does reduce the amount of work needed before you are ready to be registered by Empower Fostering, and it will undoubtedly be far less intrusive than your first assessment. We promise to make the process as simple, efficient and swift as possible as you can continue fostering your current children without disruption. 

What happens to the child in my care?

The process is extremely straightforward if you are looking to transfer and don't currently have children in placement. If you have children presently placed with you, a Protocol Meeting will be arranged early in the process to discuss the needs of the children in your care and what services Empower Fostering needs to continue delivering. 

Will I recieve the same fostering allowances?

Empower Fostering has a very competitive allowance scheme, and in many cases, you will be financially better off moving on to our allowances and benefits. However, if you currently receive a higher level of allowances or enhanced payments from your current agency, we will honour those payments. So our promise to you is that you will not be financially worse off by transferring to Empower Fostering, and in many cases, you will be better off. 

If this concerns you, feel free to have a confidential conversation with one of our fostering advisors to ascertain what you will be paid before you decide to transfer. 

What are the next steps?

If you would like to explore joining the Empower Fostering family, fill in the form here to talk in confidence to an experienced Fostering Advisor. We promise not to speak with your current agency until you formally apply to us. If you would like to talk to a current Empower Fostering Foster Carer who has been through the transfer process, we can arrange that too. 

As a Foster Carer, I was keen to find an independent fostering agency which really did provide personalised support to my family, I will never look back at my decision to foster and join the Empower Fostering family, they really do go above and beyond!

Benefits when transferring to Empower Fostering

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Support - We're here, by your side, with unrivaled support, available 24/7.

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Career - Enjoy a rewarding career whilst changing a child or young persons life. 

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Income - You will receive a competitive weekly fostering allowance, tax exemption and tax relief.

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Training - Comprehensive, ongoing training to support the challenges and success of fostering. 

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Community - We host multiple events, support groups and fun activities throughout the year as part of our fostering family. 

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Holidays - To look after others, you must look after yourself; paid respite helps you recharge. 

  • Can I foster if I am single?
    Yes, of course you can. Anyone can foster as long as they are able to demonstrate that they have the skills and capacity to care for a child. You need to be resilient, kind and have a support network around you.
  • How long does it take to become a Foster Carer?
    The length of time for assessments varies depending on individual circumstances. However, we complete assessments within three to five months on average.
  • Do I have to have a spare room?
    Yes, you do need to have a spare room. All children must have a room of their own unless they are a sibling group and the social worker agrees that they can share a room.
  • I am over 60 can I still apply?
    We welcome applications from individuals of any age and there is no upper age limit! Everyone who applies will have a medical with their GP and as long as you are physically and emotionally fit enough to support a child/young people, then age is not an issue.
  • I have a criminal record can I still foster?
    It's important that you let us know about any criminal records you may have. A previous conviction will not necessarily preclude you from fostering. Much will depend on the nature of the offence and when it occurred. We will carry out an enhanced DBS check on everyone who applied and would ask that you are open and honest from the start with any convictions. This way we can assess whether you can continue on the assessment journey.
  • What training will I receive?
    We have a full and varied training program. Some of this is online and some face to face. As part of your assessment we will run workshops on top of your 'Skills to Foster' course. Again, these will be both face to face and virtual depending on the need at the time. We will try to be flexible and ensure that this fits around your life and young people. We are here to support you with your training.
  • What Support can I get?
    When you become an approved Foster Carer with Empower Fostering, you will be allocated a supervising social worker to meet with you once a fortnight to discuss how the child/young person is progressing. You will also be able to speak to a team member seven days a week, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. In addition, there are support meetings with other Foster Carers in your area.
  • What training and learning opportunities are available?
    After completing your 'Skills to Foster' course and becoming an approved carer, there will be planned learning opportunities available throughout the year, covering topics such as 'keeping children safe', 'managing behavior', 'developing self-esteem in children' and 'promoting good health'.
  • How do I become a Foster Carer?
    You will receive advice and information from one of our team members during your initial phone contact. When you are ready, you will be assigned a dedicated assessor who will visit you and assist you throughout the process. A referee, medical, and DBS check will be done, and you will be asked to undergo a 'Skills to Foster' training session. The assessment procedure typically takes 4-6 months.
  • What Happens at an Initial Home Visit?
    One of our team members will visit your house for a casual talk on looking after small children and young people. We'll discuss the process of becoming a Foster Carer, offer book and research recommendations, and go over your responsibilities as a Foster Carer.
  • How do you match a child or young person with Foster Carers?
    We carefully match Foster Carers with children. During the assessment process, we will get a better understanding of what would work for you and your home, which will help us make the right matches.
  • Do I have any say in the child or young person placed with me?
    Yes. The matching process is fundamental for you and the child or young person. We will match the needs and requirements of the child or young person with what you can offer. This will be discussed with you in-depth during your assessment.
  • Can you foster if you are in debt?
    If you have debt, you are not necessarily disqualified to foster. This would be examined during the fostering assessment and approval process because each person's circumstance differs. Do not be worried that your debt will prevent you from becoming a Foster Carer. To learn more, get in touch with us for a completely private and informal chat.
  • Can I get a mortgage as a Foster Carer?
    Yes! There are several mortgage lenders that will allow you use your entire fostering income, and there are even specific mortgage lenders and products made only for foster carers.
  • Can you be a Foster Carer if you live in affordable housing?
    Certainly, being a resident of affordable housing does not stop you from wishing to foster.
  • Do you get paid per family or per child when fostering?
    Typically, the foster allowance is determined by how many children or young people you are looking after.

Ready to talk about fostering?
Get in touch with us today for a friendly chat. 

01823 756 100  |  info@empowerfostering.co.uk

Unit 2 Prockters Farm Offices, West Monkton, Taunton Somerset, TA2 8QN

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