Creating placement choice

Key findings

Practice points

What we know from research

Partnership working and joint commissioning is a developing area. Many independent fostering providers and local authorities are developing specialist schemes, partnership arrangements and service agreements within their own agencies and with others to increase the number and suitability of available placements.

Local authorities, independent fostering agencies and voluntary childcare organisations are replacing spot purchasing of placements with service level and partnership agreements. Some are extensive, involving large numbers of agencies where costs, services and standards are agreed and monitored.

Children and young people placed in these schemes include those with particularly challenging and difficult needs, such as young offenders, those with learning or physical disabilities, those in sibling groups or those who require long-term foster carers (1).