Stop Venture Capitalists Profiteering from Children Placed in Foster Care
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Fostering placements provide care and security for children and young people who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their birth families.
Unfortunately, foster care has become big business. Independent fostering agencies (IFA's) are increasingly being bought up by venture capitalist companies. These companies interests are in making profit and they are making huge profits at the expense of the children, the foster carers, cash strapped local authorities (LA's) and those who pay council tax.
Foster carers do an amazing job. They care for other people's children twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. These children and young people often have complex needs and sometimes display difficult and challenging behaviours. Foster carers are required to show incredible dedication and commitment. They often join independent fostering agencies because they promise better support, training and a more realistic financial allowance.
The problem with IFA's as opposed to not for profit and charity IFA's is that they are run as a business and their overriding aim is to make money. They charge exorbitant fees and cream off large amounts of money to increase the profits of their owners (venture capitalists), money which could and should be used to enhance the lives of the children in foster care.
This must stop. There is a solution:
All Independent Fostering Agencies must become ‘not-for-profit’ organisations.
This would require changes to legislation in England and Wales (in Scotland this already in place).
The advantages would be that:
· Independent Fostering Agencies would be able to reduce their fees substantially, while still providing their foster carers with excellent training and support;
· The cost to Local Authorities of providing foster care could be cut dramatically, but Local Authorities would still have access to the choice of specialised placements Independent Fostering Agency carers provide.
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