You may have many questions about fostering and have questions about the the various different ways you can foster children, and these normally will be through an independent fostering agency (IFA) such as Mosaic Foster Care, or via your local authority, Here we outline some of the key differences in these approaches.
There are many different types of fostering. This may include brief respite care to offer a carer or parent a break, short-term foster care, for example when the plan is for the child or young person to return home, specialist foster care such as parent and child assessment placements, and long-term care providing for children and young people until they are ready for independence. At Mosaic Foster Care, we recognise that the road to recovery for children and young people who have experienced significant trauma is long term. Children need time to build trusting and caring relationships with their foster families and benefit from professional support offered.
Fostering is provided either by local authorities (the state) or an independent provider.
Local authorities have the lead responsibility to look after children and young people in care as their corporate parent. They will directly recruit foster parents to care for children and young people from within their catchment area. This enables children to be placed in foster homes near their families of origin. Local authorities can offer localised access to support groups, training and social work support.
Independent fostering agencies (IFAs) started operating in the early 1990s as a result in a shortfall of foster homes being provided by local authorities who were at the time struggling to recruit and retain foster parents.
IFAs recruit foster parents to offer homes on behalf of the local authorities through commissioning arrangements. Although this comes at a cost to local authorities, there is still no evidence to suggest that independent foster care is a more costly option when comparing similar needs and factoring in the full cost of providing a service.
Just like local authorities, IFAs recruit, support and develop foster parents. Since IFAs only focus on fostering, they are generally able to offer a more tailored package to foster parents. As a therapeutic fostering agency, Mosaic Foster Care is able to offer even greater support to foster families.
If your question wasn't answered here, please contact our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.
Click on the button above to download our handy guide to fostering with Mosaic compared to with a local authority.