Set up by a former foster parent and former social worker in 1994, Foster Care Associates (FCA) is an established fostering agency which forms part of the Polaris Community - one of the UK’s largest leading communities of children’s service providers.
The business was born out of an enthusiasm for delivering fostering services to make a positive difference to the lives of looked after children. Our first office was in the Worcestershire countryside, and that’s still where our Head Office is today.
We’ve come a long way since those early days and, over the years, FCA has built a strong reputation for excellence, and now offers a wide range of services to children and families. But our purpose remains the same; ‘to make a positive and lasting difference for children, families and communities’, and it’s underpinned by a series of values designed to help us assist children and young people to reach their full potential.
Today, we’re one of the country’s largest and most experienced independent fostering agencies. But just because we’re large doesn’t mean we’re impersonal. At FCA we’re one big family, and we’re committed to supporting every single child and foster parent, every single minute of the day.
Working together to become even stronger
Many things make us different, but the biggest one of all is our passion for involving everyone – foster parents, colleagues and children and young people. Everyone here has a voice, and we’re always listening to our foster parents and to the children and young people they look after, so you can be sure you’ll be heard.
We want everyone to feel they’re part of our family, and we work hard to make it happen. It’s this sense of involvement that makes people choose to foster with us – and you’ll experience it in everything we do – from our unique Team Parenting™ model and our forums for children and foster parents, through to our annual ‘Big Sing Off’ event which brings everyone together. It’s an approach that’s helped us create a positive and empowering culture where everyone feels respected, valued and able to contribute.
By involving everyone, asking for ideas and feedback and collaborating together, we’re also able to continuously improve and develop our services and support.
We listen to comments and constantly review how we support our foster parents and find even better ways of working. We’re also at the forefront of many developments in fostering innovation, including our work with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. It makes for a vibrant and dynamic organisation that’s always striving to be better - and to make an even bigger difference for the children we look after. Read our fostering stories here.
The relationship between you as a foster parent, your supervising social worker and FCA as a whole, forms the foundations of our relationship with you. Just like every relationship, it must be nurtured, developed and worked on seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We see fostering as partnership, and we’re committed to making it work for everyone. So it’s really important to us that our foster parents have a way of directly influencing how we run as an agency.
Expertise and commitment
Our expertise and commitment has been recognised by local authorities and other professional organisations. In 2019, all of our offices were rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, reflecting the hard work and contribution of everyone here.
So we’re not just a large, well-resourced and respected fostering organisation, we’re a highly successful one too.
Foster care specialist with over 25 years’ experience
Nine local offices covering the whole of the UK
1,400 foster parents accessing our support and training
Over 1,900 children and young people in our care
We’ve been here for a while now but we’ve never lost sight of what’s important; our values and our passion for helping children to reach their potential. We’re proud of our high quality foster care and we put the needs of children and young people at the centre of everything we do.
People matter to us. That’s why we celebrate diversity and believe we can all achieve more by working together and building stronger communities.
Passionate about realising potential
We remain true to our founders’ belief in quality care for children and families.
- Truth – We act with care, compassion and integrity
- Quality – We set high standards for ourselves in serving customers
- Energy – We work with energy, enthusiasm and determination
- Results – We measure outcomes and use them to make better decisions
Ambition for children
We want children to have a sense of belonging and security within a family environment.
- Engagement – We encourage and enable children to have their voices heard
- Strengths Based – We use a strengths based approach to our work
- Achievement – We work with children to help them achieve
- Protection – We protect children
We believe that every person counts and is accountable.
- Needs Led – We put the needs of children first
- Diversity – We value diversity, take pride in our work and celebrate our successes
- Responsibility – We take responsibility for our actions and outcomes
- Challenge – We challenge and support each other and our partners to constantly improve
We understand and successfully manage the risks of change.
- Creativity – We appreciate the need for change and work with pace and creativity
- Safety – We never compromise on quality and safety for children
- Research – We invest in research and learn from experience
- Culture of Ideas – We promote a culture that enables ideas to be developed, shared and realised quickly
We believe we can achieve more by working together.
- Local Focus – We deliver locally based activities to support local communities
- Sharing – We share knowledge and information with stakeholders
- Respect – We treat our partners with respect and integrity
- Honesty – We are open and honest at all times
FCA was different from the others – they felt caring and focused on the children. They made it clear that the child was at the centre of what they do, and supporting their carers was also of paramount importance, which is vital to achieving a successful placement.
Jo & Lisa - Birmingham
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