Flexible Agreement for the provision of Fostering Agency Placements - LCC10033

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If you are an existing, active supplier to LCC, you are automatically registered in Fusion and encouraged to use the new Supplier Portal as it will increase your ability to self-serve.

If you are new to Oracle Fusion for LCC please see details of how to register on the link below. It is free to register.



Lancashire County Council (the Council) are leading on the procurement of an open Flexible Agreement for the Provision of Fostering Agency Placements.

Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackpool Council, Cumbria County Council and Lancashire County Council (BBLC) have a statutory duty to provide a sufficiency of foster care placements for Children Looked After (CLA) that they hold responsibility for.

Since 2019 BBCL have been collaborating as part of a Department of Education funded project to improve the sufficiency of foster care placements across the authorities. The first part of this project involved the development of a feasibility study, identifying methods the four authorities could utilise to increase their sufficiency. A key recommendation from this feasibility study was the development of a sub-regional independent foster care agreement between the four Contracting Bodies. By working together, the four Contracting Bodies have developed the Flexible Agreement which this procurement intends to establish, with the aim to influence the behaviour of these agencies in order to prioritise the Children from the four Contracting Bodies within the combined authorities’ geographical footprint.

The Flexible Agreement will be a list of approved Independent Foster Care Providers.

It is intended that the Flexible Agreement will remain effect for 9 years, Service Contracts can be awarded as call-off contracts as detailed within the Invitation to Participate (ITP).

This procurement procedure is considered to be subject to the Light Touch Regime under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Applicants can apply to join the Flexible Agreement, if Applicants satisfy the required criteria. The Flexible Agreement will be open for new Applications during the initial Application phase. Once the initial Application deadline has passed (see ITP for dates), Applicants can apply to join every three years throughout the term. Following an evaluation process, applicants will receive an outcome notification.  Successful Applicants will be required to sign a Flexible Agreement and will be appointed as a provider.

Lancashire County Council's Flexible Agreement may be used by Contracting Authorities listed below and identified in the contract notice and any successor council as defined in The Local Government (Structural Changes) (Transfer of Functions, Property, Rights and Liabilities) Regulations 2008 to the Contracting Authorities.

  • Cumbria County Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Council

The Flexible Agreement will be split into the following Lots:

  • Lot 1 Standard Foster Care. The provision of foster care placements for children and young people aged 0-4, 5-10, 11-15, 16+ and Parent and Child placements
  • Lot 2 Enhanced Foster Care. The provision of foster care placements and support services for children and young people with enhanced needs
  • Lot 3 Step Down into Foster Care. The provision of foster care placements and support services for children and young people who are placed within Residential Care or on a trajectory to be placed within Residential Care.

Applicants must be successful in Lot 1 to be eligible for Lot 2 and/or Lot 3.

The Council intends to evaluate new Applications at least every three years at the Flexible Agreement Commencement Date anniversary, unless otherwise advised by the Council. The Council reserve the right to do this sooner, at its discretion, if demand for placements increases or existing Flexible Agreement Providers lack capacity and it does not meet Contracting Body's needs. The Council will notify Applicants of evaluation dates via the e-tendering system, therefore Applicants are encouraged to check the online discussion function on a regular basis.

The exact timetable for evaluation will be communicated via the online discussions function within the e-Tendering system.

How to Apply

To participate and join the Flexible Agreement, please read all documents listed below. Applicants must complete all the required documents (as stated in the ITP) and must be returned via the Oracle Fusion: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/fusion-supplier-portal/ under LCC10033.

You must also check the Oracle Fusion on a regular basis for 'messaging function', this will provide a log of any clarification questions raised by Applicant and the Council's responses.

All aspects (documents/attachments/responses) of the application can and must be submitted via the Oracle Fusion. The Council will not accept email or hard copy/paper applications in relation to this process and you must submit your application electronically via the Oracle Fusion.

All instructions on how to apply to join the Flexible Agreement, evaluation criteria terms and conditions and documents to be returned can be downloaded from the list of documents below. Please also check the iSupplier portal on a regular basis.

You can access the iSupplier Portal and access other useful information in relation to the iSupplier portal via the ISupplier Protal page on the LCC website:


Further information and documentation:

Invitation to Participate Documents


Total Contract Value:

Estimated total value up to £375,000,000 - £415,000,000

The estimated contract value for the Flexible Agreement allows for cost increases during the term.


The estimated contract value for placements made by Lancashire County Council is £150,000,000 - £160,000,000 depending on demand.

The estimated contract value for placements made by Cumbria County Council is £86,000,000 – £96,000,000 depending on demand.

The estimated contract value for placements made by Blackpool Council is £108,000,000 - £118,000,000 depending on demand.

The estimated contract value for placements made by Blackburn with Darwen Council is £31,000,000 - £41,000,000 depending on demand.


Is this suitable for SME (Small & Medium Enterprises)? Yes

Is this suitable for VCSE (Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise)? Yes

Contract Type: Services

Procedure Type: Light Touch Regime under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Main site or location of works, main place of delivery or main place of performance: Lancashire, Cumbria, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool.

Tender Documents are available until: 04/05/2031

Contact Name: Kirsty Harrison

Contact Email address: kirsty.harrison@lancashire.gov.uk

Contact Telephone Number: 01772 538079

Awarding Authority: Lancashire County Council

Other information:

The Council requires Applicants to be registered with Ofsted or Care Inspectorate for regulated activity. Nominated locations put forward must not be rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted or 'weak' or 'unsatisfactory' by Care Inspectorate.
See invitation to participate for full requirements, particularly in regard to requirements concerning: insurance, financial ratios, consortia requirements, mandatory and discretionary exclusion criteria, references, past performance/experience, registered households, and quality and price criteria.

Provider information days

Any future supplier information days that the Authority will be hosting, including details on how to book onto them, will be advertised here as and when they are arranged.