Meet Jan and Jim. They founded Foster Care Associates in 1994, back in the days when Friends had only just hit our television screens and smart phones were still a daydream.
With experiences as foster carers and social workers, Jan and Jim wanted to use their passion and experience within fostering services to make an even bigger difference to the lives of looked after children. They found a small office in the Worcestershire countryside and started their own fostering agency; Foster Care Associates (FCA). Jan and Jim remain at the heart of fostering across FCA and are actively involved every day.
That was over 20 years ago and we’ve been placing children with loving foster carers ever since. We’ve come a long way since those early days and now offer a wide range of services to children and families, alongside consultancy and resourcing for the social care sector.
FCA is an independent fostering agency committed to making a difference. Unlike many other independent foster care agencies, we have no shareholders or private equity interests to serve, we can focus on our core vision to make a positive and lasting difference for children, families and communities. With the interests of children and young people at its heart, FCA works closely with local authorities to provide caring and stable homes for looked after children but always goes the extra mile for our carers and children.
Read our statement of purpose.
Here are just some of the ways we are making a difference
- We recognised that there was little national support available for children and young people when they leave care and so set up a charity named the Rees Foundation which enables people with care experience to get the support they need to help them reach their full potential www.reesfoundation.org
- Every year we organise our hugely popular national football tournament, attended and loved by children, young people, foster carers and birth children. This event has an incredible impact on the self-esteem of children and young people who may not otherwise get such opportunities.
- Our Annual ‘Big Sing Off’ is a choir competition (Think of the BBC ‘The Choir’) where children, carers and FCA staff have great fun and bond as they compete to be the best regional choir at an exciting event held in the Spring each year. Throughout the year our children and carers are invited to join in practices and develop singing skills, as part of a wide range of fun and extra-curricular activities funded by FCA for our carers and young people.
- Every year we hold over 1000 activity groups for our carers and young people to attend. Extra support and events allow our young people to meet like minded peers, carers get the support from one another and time out, knowing that their child in placement is benefiting from a well organised and supported event.
- We have invested in our Children’s Services arm which provides services to children and families to help prevent some children from coming into care. Our services for Children with disabilities and Educational services mean we are able to reach out to help more children and young people.
- In Bulgaria, we are in the fifth year of partnership with the For Our Children Foundation to develop quality foster care services to help with the deinstitutionalisation of children’s services there. We have provided financial support, which has enabled them to gain match funding from other Charitable Foundations and over 100 professional and consultancy training days to help bring children out of institutions into family placements. In a breakthrough in 2014 babies now no longer have to go to large institutions to live and can now benefit from a family placement.
- Increasingly, we work alongside government on innovative projects to develop innovative foster care in the UK and continue to find ways to improve outcomes for children and young people.
What underpins our vision, mission and values is a fundamental belief that it is important to give as many vulnerable and challenging children as possible the chance to safely flourish and achieve within their own communities and in family based placements, that too many children around the world are unnecessarily in residential homes, and that children and their basic needs are the same the world over. For even more information see our Fostering FAQs.
Our fashion and hairstyles may have changed over the years, but our values have stayed the same. Jan and Jim are still the centre of our family. Our commitment to changing the lives of children and young people is stronger than ever. And our foster carers are still at the heart of everything we do, offering a range of carer support including relaxation breaks at our award winning holiday cottages.
So, it’s no surprise that we’re the UK’s best-known independent fostering agency and that we offer different kinds of foster care, including specialist placements.
It’s why we care without compromise.