In 2012, several well-established, independent fostering agencies – all judged by Ofsted as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ – joined together to form Compass Fostering. They brought a wealth of fostering experience and specialist local knowledge to a national level.
Since then, Compass has grown into one of the leading independent fostering agencies in England and Wales.
Our highly experienced teams work tirelessly to improve the self-esteem, confidence, life chances, achievements and placement stability of the young people placed with us and to meet the needs of foster families.
We know that successful placements depend on attention to detail. That’s why we take the time to listen carefully to the needs of our foster carers and their families. We empower them to give a child a fulfilling future and rewarding them for the care they provide. Our support includes round-the-clock support, a generous allowance, professional training and an outstanding Education Service.
What is the difference between fostering agencies and local authorities?
When you decide to learn more about foster care you will have two choices; foster with the local authority or with an independent fostering agency. But what’s the difference?
All children that come into the care system are the legal responsibility of the local authority (councils). They will initially try to find a placement with one of their foster carers. They will then look to fostering agencies like Compass when they feel that they have a foster family which is more suitable to the child or young person. This could be because the child has complex needs that their carers aren’t able to offer, or it could be that they don’t have foster carers that live in the right area.
As Compass are a nationwide agency that offers industry-leading training, we are often able to provide placements where local authorities are not.
Although we work alongside local authorities, there are a few differences between your LA and other IFA’s like Compass Fostering:
- Training and support that Compass offers is something that many local authorities are not able to match. Our training is based around the REACH model, which aims to equip foster carers to build resilience, provide stability and offer a child-centred approach. As a Compass foster carer you’ll be supported with all the skills and training you need to really make a difference to children’s lives. Many of our carers choose to access our specialist training, gaining professional expertise.
- Fostering allowances will vary between local authorities and even different agencies, but the fees agencies offer are often higher than those at local authorities. On top of fees paid for looking after a child, with Compass you’ll also have opportunities to earn more through becoming a Carer Recruitment Ambassador.
- The age of the children and young people that we place are usually higher than they are with local authorities. LA’s often find it harder to place older children, so these children are often place with fostering agencies.
One Fostering Agency Does Not Fit All
Every child is different – and so is every foster carer. Children’s needs vary greatly and at Compass we understand that yours do, too. As a leading fostering agency, our foster carers come from many different backgrounds and circumstances. The one thing they all have in common is knowing that giving a child the stability and warmth of family life is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
When deciding on the right agency for you, you should always make sure you ask plenty of questions. These might include:
- How close is the local office to you?
- The level of support that the agency and supervising social workers offer?
- Do they offer specialist and bespoke training?
- Do they have local support groups?
- Is it a large agency? What are the pros and cons of this?
- What kind of allowances do they offer?
When you join Compass Fostering, you become part of a welcoming, supportive community of professionals. From the minute you make contact, our experienced team will listen and support you and your family every step of the way. Each Compass Fostering foster carer has 24/7 support from local staff who get to know you, your family and the young people you are looking after.