To become a foster carer in the UK, you can register with a local authority or an independent fostering agency (IFA). The North London Consortium is a partnership of six local authorities working together to better provide foster families for local children in care.
All children entering the fostering system come under the care of their local authority who acts as a corporate parent. IFA's do not have children in their care and only have placements once they are approached by a local authority. They are usually asked to help place a child if the authority does not have what they feel to be the right match for the child.
What are the advantages of fostering with your local authority?
- The council is a non-profit organisation that puts children’s welfare before profit
- Often more regular placements with shorter waiting times between placements
- Greater access to training courses, support groups and social events
- Both your supervising social worker and your foster child’s social worker will be based within the borough so support will always be on hand
- If you are caring for a school-aged child they will probably be attending a local school so you won’t face long school runs
- Most children in care have regular contact with their birth family. Our contact centres, where most of these sessions take place, are in borough
- Strong foster carer association, run by foster carers for foster carers offering peer support, weekly coffee mornings and regular outings
Find out more in ‘support and training’.