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Cumbria County Council and Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs)

All children in care are 'looked after' by their own local authority (in Cumbria that's Cumbria County Council) and it's our responsibility as the local authority to find suitable homes for them. 

Most children looked after by the council are in foster care with one of our own carers. However, if the council cannot find a suitable foster placement we may have to place the child through an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA).

IFAs also recruit foster carers and then make them available to councils, for this service they charge the council a fee.  By having more foster carers available in-house it means the council can avoid incurring these additional fees. More in-house foster carers also means we can increase the likelihood that children can be fostered in Cumbria, rather than having to be placed outside the county (which as a general rule we try to avoid because of the potential impact on a child of removing them from their local networks).

We pride ourselves on the fact that we offer training and support from a local office here in Cumbria that is second to none and our full focus is always on matching the right carer for the right child. Our priority is always to find Cumbrian families for Cumbrian children. And as a Cumbria County Council foster carer you can also be confident you will have regular placements throughout the year if you want them.

If you are considering fostering via an IFA get in touch for a chat with us before you make your final decision.

If you are currently fostering with an IFA and are thinking about switching to the council please get in touch and we'll be happy to discuss how you can smoothly make the move.