Emma (9) from England and Paula (10) from Germany

Leif (8) from Germany and Lucas (8) from France

Vincent (8) from Germany and Samuel (8) from France

How does it work?

The process begins by making contact to express an interest in finding out more. Email us at info@allef.org.uk. We will be happy to explain more about ALLEF and answer any questions about what to expect. We will do our best to put you in touch with a local family who have done an exchange before.

The next stage is to fill in a short application form and pay a non-refundable admin fee of £50. Once we have your application we will arrange a visit to you at your home, either by an ALLEF exchange co-ordinator or by a local family who have experience of at least one successful ALLEF exchange. The purpose is to get to know you in your home.

We will then ask you to complete a full application. The form is long and asks a lot of questions that will make you think hard about your child’s character, your family, your lifestyle, your values, parenting style etc.

We will also take up references, and contact your child’s school to ensure they are aware of your plans and offer to answer any questions they may have.

You will then be invited to a meeting at which the UK, French and German exchange co-ordinators will be present. The exchange co-ordinators will talk to the family as a whole, and the child separately. This is so that they can build up the most detailed picture of the family and find the best match with similar families in France or Germany (where this process is replicated).

Once a suitable family has been found, we will call you and tell you the basic details, such as where they live, type of family, etc., if you wish to proceed, we will send a more detailed information package including photographs. We will make recommendations about the order in which the exchange should take place (who should receive first). We very strongly recommend that each family visit each other before the exchange takes place as a final check to ensure that everyone is happy to go ahead with the exchange.

If the preliminary visit is satisfactory, the exchange is ready to begin. At this stage we will notify your local social services, and you will need to apply to be approved for a private fostering arrangement. We can support you through this process if necessary. Our full fee of £650 also becomes due at this stage.

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