There is no standardised approach for how placement referral information is captured and provided to care providers. Each local authority tends to use its own format, takes its own approach to the collation and checking information for reliability. Fostering agencies frequently note that information is out-of-date and/or partial and that it can be difficult to extract the key information required to identify whether they have a potential foster carer available. This briefing is intended to offer some helpful context and advice for local authorities preparing placement referral information for independent fostering services (although the principles apply to whichever care sector the referral is intended for e.g. residential care).