Fostering agencies are more likely to have much more of a family-orientated feel than a local authority, especially those that operate in specific locations. There are a number of differences between fostering with an independent foster care agency and fostering with your local authority. It is likely that there will be more training and skill enhancement opportunities available to develop your skills as a foster parent. Typically, fostering agencies offer a larger fostering allowance than local authorities. Furthermore, due to the wider resources of an agency, you are likely to encounter a deeper and more constant level of support for fostering advice and queries.
Deciding which is right for you is an important step in your journey. Sadly, the number of looked after children is rising and finding enough good quality foster parents to care for these children is an ongoing challenge for local authorities, and one that they’re unable to accomplish alone; particularly for older children, siblings and young people with disabilities, where it’s generally a little more difficult to find suitable foster homes.