Guide To Fostering

Council fostering vs agency fostering – what’s the difference?

If you are thinking of fostering, you may be confused by the different types available.

At Beacon Fostering, we will guide you on the two main pathways, council and agency fostering, and how they differ from each other, so you can make an informed decision.

Council fostering

As the name indicates, this fostering is operated by your local council, or an affiliated organisation focused on children’s services.

This type of fostering enables children to stay within their local area, enabling them to be close to their school, friends, relatives and clubs. This locality provides a sense of stability and familiarity for them.

Councils often provide carers with reimbursements in addition to an allowance for essentials. This provides more sustainability compared to agency fostering, where carers provide for their child(ren) out of the allowance alone.

Even though the agencies provide large allowances, costs can start to add up for the carers.

Agency fostering

This refers to fostering services being provided through a company, and is done on a nationwide or regional scale.

Beacon Fostering is an example of such an agency, focused on foster care in the North West. Although we work closely with local authorities, we operate and provide services independently.

Fostering agencies have more placement opportunities across wider areas. They also provide more focused specialist support for families than councils, as a result of having more resources to achieve this. The large allowances they provide are also a perk.

If you’re looking to begin your foster care journey, or wish to transfer, reach out to an experienced member of our team today.