Foster carers transferring to us
If you're currently registered with another fostering provider and wish to move to Suffolk County Council's Fostering Service, we'd love to hear from you.
We can talk you through the process, meet with and help you decide if you would like to formally decide to transfer.
We have many carers transfer to us each year, and would be happy to put you in touch with one who can talk you through some of the benefits of fostering with Suffolk, as well as their experience of transferring.
There are many reasons why foster carers want to change to Suffolk County Council.
How are we different to private independent fostering agencies?
We have a large resource of assessed and approved carers for vulnerable children, who become children in care. But like all agencies across the country we need to continue to grow our carer population to meet an increasing demand.
We are the longest established provider of fostering services in Suffolk and are uniquely placed to meet the needs of these children. Unlike independent providers, we remain an accountable public service.
There are a number of ways in which fostering through Suffolk Fostering Service is beneficial over the large number of competing independent agencies, for example:
- our fees and allowance structure are competitive with those of independent agencies
- we work in partnership with all major agencies to meet the needs of children with complex needs, and are able to offer family support, therapy, educational provision, transition to leaving care and independence
- we have the infrastructure to respond quickly and offer 24 hour support to our carers who have capacity
- we provide unrivalled training and supervision for our foster carers
- we're part of an organisation which manages both the children in care, and foster carers, placing us in a unique position to respond efficiently and be able to utilise resources across the authority to manage challenges
We work hard to match Suffolk children with Suffolk carers
All Suffolk children in care are the responsibility of Suffolk County County Council. Children are matched with our pool of approved Suffolk County Council foster carers before other fostering providers. This means:
we're better able to match children, as we know both the carer and the child
we support local children - Suffolk carers are matched with Suffolk children
you have far more choice of placements; for children of all ages, for all types of needs, including short term and permanent
you'll receive regular foster placements from Suffolk - our carers rarely have a vacancy
the fostering and children's social workers are all part of the same wider team
it's the best value for money for Suffolk residents
We offer competitive fees and allowances
Experienced carers transferring to us from another fostering agency are likely to be eligible for higher level payments, which will be agreed following application and early stages of assessment.
View our Fees and allowances page for a detailed breakdown of the payments available to foster carers.
"We began our journey with a fostering agency as they were able to pay us a fee to offset the need for me to go out to work. However, we were left with an empty room for months and had to make the decision to leave the agency."
"I spoke to Suffolk Fostering and have never looked back!"
"I found that we receive almost the same fee, but would very rarely have periods of no one to care for (unless we asked for a break), and we could access some brilliant local training and support groups, which the agency had certainly been lacking."
- Sandra, foster carer
We provide excellent training and support
When you're a foster carer with us you'll have:
regular supervision and high quality support from a dedicated local fostering social worker
access to an extensive range of training and learning opportunities (including local training courses and accredited training such as the Diploma in Childcare, and e-learning) enabling you to develop your skills and gain qualifications
support from our local health, educational and therapeutic services
the backing of an experienced multi-agency team, who know your area well
up to 21 days paid respite care each year for fostering placements
a loan of equipment needed to care for a child, such as beds, cots, pushchairs and other specialist items (including the provision of a computer for school aged children)
access to 24 hour support and advice from our out of hours team
access to regular support groups; we have around 400 foster carers in the Suffolk area, and there are always carers nearby to offer you extra support
paid membership to the Fostering Network
paid membership to New Families Social for LGBT foster carers.
"The majority of carers are highly positive about the support they receive from the local authority."
- Ofsted report for 2015/2016
If you're interested in transferring to Suffolk Fostering Service please phone us on 01473 264800. We'll ensure that the transfer process is as quick and seamless as possible.