Transfer fostering agency process

How to transfer fostering agency

Joining our fostering family is easier than you think – we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Transfer to us

As one of the UK’s leading therapeutic fostering agencies, we use our collective knowledge and experience to guide you through the transfer process as quick and hassle-free as possible, so you and your family can enjoy the benefits of being part of the ISP family.

We understand that changing foster providers can be a big decision to make, particularly if you have foster children in placement, which is why we always fast-track experienced foster families through the assessment process - aiming to complete it within just 12 weeks of your initial enquiry.

The process to transfer fostering agencies differs slightly depending on whether you have a child currently in your care. You can discover the process for both scenarios below.

Transferring Fostering Agency

Download our transfer guide

Download our transfer guide to learn more about the process and benefits of working with ISP.


Transferring without children in placement

Step 1: Speak to us and receive all the information you need to make a decision about whether we're the right agency for you.

Step 2: When you're ready to transfer, you'll need to submit an application to us and also notify your current agency or local authority that you intend to transfer. Don't worry this isn't your resignation.    

Step 3: Once we have accepted your application and received a copy of your notice of intent to transfer, we'll introduce you to your assessing social worker who will complete your assessment - we'll capture all your existing skills and experience that you've gained through fostering.

Step 4: An independent panel will review your assessment and make a recommendation to our agency decision maker, who will confirm your approval status.

Step 5: It’s at this point that you’ll formally resign from your current agency, and that’s it! You’ll automatically transfer over to our service 28 days later, when your new contract will start and your old one ends.

The transfer process is slightly different if you have a child in placement.

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Transferring with a child in placement

The process is largely the same as transferring without any children in placement, however, there are some key differences that you will need to know.

  1. When notifying your current agency that you’re considering transferring foster agency, you must also notify the child’s placing local authority.
  2. The child’s placing local authority will then arrange a Transfer Protocol Meeting within 28 days of receiving your notice of intent to transfer. This meeting takes place during the assessment stage and would include yourself, someone from the child’s placing authority, someone from your current agency (if applicable) and also a representative from ISP.

What is discussed in the Transfer Protocol Meeting?

Your foster child’s best interests are the most important thing to consider when looking to transfer to a new provider. That’s why the Transfer Protocol Meeting is held to ensure that ISP can continue to meet the needs of any young person currently in your care, and that transferring won’t have any negative impact.

What are some of the main considerations?

  • How will the child’s care plan continue to be followed?
  • What are the views of the child, parent or anybody else involved?
  • How will ISP provide the specific support needs of the child?
  • How could the child’s routines, relationships, activities etc be impacted by transferring? And what would ISP do to further support them?
  • What types of children would ISP be able to place with you in the future?
  • Can we agree on a plan around fees from the placing authority to ISP, and from ISP to you?

You can rest assured that the welfare of your current foster child will be a number one priority when you transfer to ISP. We understand that change can be triggering, so the needs of the child will always be considered, including how we’d support them after you transfer.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to resign from my current agency before speaking to another?

No, you only need to notify your current agency if you’re serious about applying to a new one, but even then, this is not a resignation. You formally resign once you’ve been reviewed by Panel and had your approval, and the new contract will start the day your old one ends.

How long does it take to transfer fostering agency?

As an experience foster parent, your application to transfer to us will be fast-tracked, which means we aim to complete the process within 12 weeks of your initial enquiry, subject to you being approved at Panel.

For every part of the process, we’re right there with you. Our goal is to make everything as straightforward as possible so you get to enjoy being an ISP foster parent sooner.

Is the process to transfer more complicated if you have children in placement?

The process to transfer fostering agencies is largely the same regardless of whether you have children in placement or not. The only differences are that you'll need to notify your child's placing local authority when you inform your current fostering provider about your intent to transfer. You'll also attend a Transfer Protocol Meeting, which simply ensures that your new fostering provider will be able to meet your child's needs.

If you choose to transfer to ISP, then you'll have dedicated support from our team throughout your transfer journey.

We've been fostering for13 years and recently decided to transfer to ISP. From the moment we approached ISP, everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. We are confident that we'll be receiving the best support and are looking forward to the future.

Lisa and Justin, ISP Foster Parents

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Have a confidential chat with an advisor today

Transferring to ISP is easier than you think. Speak to one of our fostering advisors today. 

Just some reasons to transfer to ISP...

  • UK's most established fostering agency
  • Leaders in therapeutic foster care
  • We'll match your allowance at the very least, but often we can beat it
  • Wrap-around support from a local team of social workers, therapists, education specialists, and more
  • An unrivalled therapeutic training programme

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