BBC research into private fostering firms

04 September 2019

BBC Report on private foster care

In a ‬decade the number of children in the care of Liverpool City Council has risen by 60%, and when we don't have enough in-house foster carers to meet the needs of the children, we look to independent fostering agencies to find suitable carers.  Recently there has been increasing debate about local authorities reliance on run-for-profit foster care firms, and the BBC recently ran a feature looking into the role of private fostering companies, and the differences to fostering with your Local Authority.

Linda, one of our foster carers has been part of the fostering service for the last four years.  Talking to BBC Radio 4 about her decision to move from a private fostering agency, she said she feels that local authorities are more 'child centred' with better matching for local children.

She said ‪“Local knowledge means you get a local match, which is in the best interests of the child and the foster family.” 

Listen to the full BBC interview here.

Councillor Barry Kushner, the council's cabinet member for children and social care, said bringing the foster carers "in house" could save millions of pounds per year. He is concerned the concentration of fostering provision in so few agencies could mean the council has less control over where children are placed.

"If children were sent to foster carers outside of Liverpool, they would have to change school probably, and be out of their own networks of friendships or extended family members they still have contact with, which is obviously worse for the child"  

We are looking to recruit more 'in-house' foster carers to keep as many children as possible with local carers, and also protect the future of our fostering service, against future changes within the Private fostering sector.

Further information can be found in this BBC article - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49450405.

If you would like to find out more about fostering with us, and the support available contact us here.