Foster care: key considerations when deciding about fostering

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Foster care: key considerations when deciding about fostering

Determining who to foster with

Thinking about who to foster with

Deciding to embark on a fostering journey is a big decision for anyone to take. The next big decision to be made is who you want to foster with. There are currently around 700 independent fostering agencies – known as IFAs, local authorities and Trusts that together provide foster care services in this country. No two IFAs are alike. Rates of pay and foster care allowances can differ. So too, can the quality of the support and training that is offered. It is also important to remember that a foster carer can only be ‘Approved’ to foster by one agency. And it is not possible to work for a local authority as well as an agency. This is why it is important to do as much background research as possible. If you don’t make the right choice, you will need to transfer and possibly retrain with the new agency.

Before deciding to become a foster carer, it’s important to research the options

If you are seriously considering becoming a foster carer, finding out as much as possible about fostering is important. Before approaching an agency or local authority, it is a good idea to look at different fostering service provider websites. These can give you an idea of the differences between IFAs.

It is a good thing to have an understanding of the different types of fostering there are to choose from. That will enable you to ask the service provider to give you information about them –  and how they differ. Here is a list:

  • emergency foster care placements;
  • long-term placements;
  • short-term placements;
  • placements for babies;
  • placements for parent and child;
  • therapeutic care placements;
  • placements for sibling groups;
  • placements for children with disabilities
  • placements for children with other complex needs;
  • respite foster care placements.

It is possible to choose a particular kind of fostering. If you are researching, you will increasingly come across the term therapeutic foster care. as opposed to more mainstream fostering, this applies to people who have received specialist training to look after children who have been traumatised in some way. 

Explore the benefits of becoming afoster carer with Team Rainbow

We hope after reading this, you will decide to contact Rainbow Fostering for more information. Being on our website will enable you to see the depth and range of information we provide. We make considerable efforts to ensure all the information we put out about foster care is regularly updated. We get a considerable number of applicants direct from our website who tell us how impressed they were with our commitment to providing the most comprehensive information possible. And then, reassuringly, they always comment favourably about the skills and knowledge of our recruitment staff. So after reading this – and perhaps looking further around our website  – you will give us a call on the numbers provided.

Contact us on 020 8427 3355/0330 311 2845 (our National Line) to start your fostering journey with Rainbow Fostering. Find out more about becoming a foster carer with Rainbow at We are keen to speak to potential applicants in Manchester and Birmingham: you can visit and for more information.

Rainbow also provide interesting news articles at

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