Top 10 Tips for Transferring Provider
FosterWiki Top 10 Tips – Transferring Provider
- Follow the right protocol,
You, your family and looked after children can safely transfer agencies if you follow the right protocol.
- Keep it official
When you first make any mention of transferring agencies should be in an official email. It should be in an ‘Intention to transfer’ email or letter (see FosterWiki’s email template).
- Stay professional
If you are moving agencies it can be for many reasons, moving house is one of them but the most usual reason is dissatisfaction, and this can cause difficulties. Most often carers are transferring due to discontent with their current providers. Whilst we encourage carers to have discussions with their agencies around these issues to try and resolve them you may have decided at this point you are transferring. Keep all your conversations with your current providers professional and calm. You may be frustrated and angry around your current support or service’s provision but staying professional will make the transition easier and ensure continued support for you and your children. It is important to remember that although there are protocol timelines in place these are not always adhered to and you may have a few months to go working with your current provider.
- Keep quiet about your intention to transfer until you are sure.
Transferring agencies or telling them you are going to, especially through dissatisfaction, can sometimes trigger unfounded standards of care or allegations, so follow the FosterWiki transfer protocol to safeguard your transfer, career and children. Whether we like it or not, and despite the majority of providers working with integrity and good practice, we have experienced some less ethical providers in the past using sudden and unfounded ‘allegations’ or ‘standards of care’ investigations in a transparent and inappropriate effort to try and prevent a foster carer transferring or to discredit them, or to prevent children moving with them as you can not transfer agencies whilst there is an active ongoing investigation. If this does happen to you contact your foster carers union (NUPFC) or your support organisation immediately. It is better to err on the side of caution in this instance and follow the protocol.
- Do not tell anyone verbally
Do not state or threaten that you are leaving due to your dissatisfaction with your provider. We can not emphasise enough to quiet about your intention to transfer until you are sure and then the first communication with your current provider is your ‘intention to transfer’ formally by email. Disrupting any existing professional relationship with your current provider is unhelpful and inadvisable.
- You can put the feelers out to new providers
Explore new providers and take your time, think about what you want in a new provider and what is important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask anything and remember every recruitment department of every agency and local authority will be ‘selling’ themselves to you so will sound amazing. If you can it’s better to ask around fellow carers to get their feedback (and not necessarily the carers the provider themselves put you on to). Prior to discussions with potential new providers ensure that they give you their assurance that they will keep enquiries confidential. They should only contact your current local authority or agency once the ‘intention to transfer’ email or letter has been sent, then the process can begin.
- You can transfer with your children
Be aware many agencies do not want to lose placements (or foster carers) so you must make sure that you hold them to account in putting the children’s needs first so that they move with you. Make you highlight the importance of the following; stability, established loving family home, continuity, permanence, mental, emotional and physical health, education etc. Children should not be parted from their fostering families, the only time this may be applicable is if the carer is moving, then distance, education/contact with birth family etc will be taken into account.
- Do not resign
Your ‘Intention to Transfer’ letter/email is just that, you are not resigning, we repeat, this is not a resignation letter and do not allow anyone to tell you it is. Do not under any circumstances ‘resign’ or you will no longer be a registered foster carer and it can take months to transfer (again, however, if your provider follows the protocol it shouldn’t).
- Make sure they follow the protocol
There is an existing Fostering Network Transfer Protocol that your agency is obliged to follow. Years of experience has shown us however that these protocols are not always followed. Make sure you know the correct protocol and get everyone to adhere to it. Time scales is one of the big ones, plus your current agency or local authority providing the new one with information and form f’s in a timely manner can also be an issue. Here is the transfer protocol, as devised by The Fostering Network. https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/policy-practice/recruitment-and-retention/transferprotocols
- Get help and support
It is advisable to get backup and advice when transferring, even if it is just to copy in your union or support, this will keep the current provider externally accountable, if it is just you on your own you may encounter difficulties. Copy in your union or support into the initial ‘Intention to Transfer’ email and all other correspondence. Your advisors will help you to ensure that your provider sticks to time scales and protocol. Here is the FosterWik page on help and support: https://fosterwiki.com/wiki/help-and-support-for-foster-carers/
Good luck with your transfer, and don’t forget you can always email the FosterWiki experts by experience for any advice, help or signposting on [email protected]
Information, Help and Support
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