‘I see happy well-adjusted children’

Jane Insje, from Wigan, has been a foster carer for 11 years and has looked after more than 100 children. She spent seven years with Wigan Council before moving to an independent fostering provider.

“The child I was caring for at the time needed therapy but the council waiting list was up to two years,” she says.

She eventually decided on Foster Care Associates, which was set up in 1994 and is now the biggest IFP.

“They offer comprehensive support for foster carers as well as for children,” Insje says. The child she was fostering at the time was given an assessment by one of Foster Care Associates’ own therapists.

Jane receives £98 more in allowance from Foster Care Associates than she did from the council. But she claims that working for an IFP has had less to do with finances than outcomes.

“I get better support and I’m able to talk issues through. I didn’t get this with the council,” she says.

She is also pleased with the training and respite she gets “to recharge” and the support she gets for her own child including “getting a birthday card.”

While she says the level of care for foster children is “just as good” in the IFP as in the council, she believes that IFPs “enhance” existing practice.

“I can see the difference when I see happy, well-adjusted children who are in education,” she says. “That’s the proof of the pudding.”

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