National Fostering Group is the largest independent fostering agency in the UK. Yet, for our 3,000+ foster carers, it feels like they’re part of a small family agency with local support from staff who know them and their family circumstances.
This is something we encourage and are proud of; it’s what makes our fostering agency so successful.
In essence, we seek to combine the wide-reaching resources of a large fostering organisation with the support, back-up and friendliness of a local, family agency.
To achieve this, we acquire select local agencies that are doing a fantastic job and that we’re proud to be associated with.
Crucially, each fostering agency that joins us is encouraged to maintain its independent identity and everything that has made it so successful up until now.
We add our extensive resources, skills and structures to what they are already doing so they can do an even better job.
To ensure a smooth transition when new agencies join the group, we allocate buddies to support them, and have a structured induction process to help them integrate with our procedures and processes.
As a group, we certainly have plenty to offer to our network of local agencies and foster carers.
Because we are a large group, we are able to appoint specialist posts to help us achieve the best outcomes for children and young people.
For example, our Education Lead advises our foster carers and ensures they know the educational support the young people are entitled to and how to request this support.
We are also able to develop innovative technology like our Youth Voice App, an engaging and youth-centred tool to track the emotional wellbeing of our young people.
We have our state-of-the-art online training platform, Shine, which offers foster carers the chance to complete whatever specialist training they need. We also have links to some of the country’s leading experts in their field who deliver this training.
We employ highly skilled, specialist staff across the group and we have a culture of sharing best practice.
So, if one local team comes up with a great idea, we all take it on board. Our popular Everyday Heroes reward programme for foster carers, for example, was initiated by one of our agencies and is now a group-wide practice.
We recognise – and reward – excellence and commitment in our foster carers and our staff.
Our Head of Foster Carer Recruitment, Annie Winter, comes from a retail background with a focus on customer service.
This is apparent in the way we respond to enquiries about becoming a foster carer and in the way we communicate with new foster carers.
We respond promptly, we do what we say we are going to do, and we treat our applicants with courtesy and respect.
National Fostering Group includes more than 3,000 foster carers and more than 4,000 children. We are a large, and growing, family.
We don’t always get it right but we are committed to learning from our mistakes and doing the very best we can – for our children, for our fostering families and for our staff.
It’s no accident that we have been recognised as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ for two years running.
Certification is based on a survey of workplace cultures and people practices. It evaluates both employee experience and HR and leadership practices.
We work hard to be the best and we’re proud of our achievements because, ultimately, it’s the children who benefit.