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.
Are you thinking of transferring foster agencies?
Download the FCA’s guide to transferring foster agencies. Find out more on how to transfer to a different fostering agency and the process involved.
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.
One of the UK’s largest leading communities of children’s service providers
We know what it takes to reach the pinnacle of success in regards to delivering the best outcomes for children and young people across our community. 100% of all FCA, and the wider Polaris services are now Good or Outstanding.
We have achieved this by listening to our staff, foster families and children. If you want to join an organisation that takes pride in striving for excellence then contact our team today.
Our Vision, Mission and Values
What we aim to achieve:
To make a difference to children, young people and families that lasts a lifetime
“Every child is one caring adult away from being a success story.”
Our purpose and what we do to achieve it:
Our mission is to provide safe and happy lives for the children who come to live with us.
For children and young people:
- We aspire to help our children reach their full potential
- We respect and promote a child’s racial, cultural and religious background and consider their gender and sexuality when finding the right family for them
- We understand the importance of stability for our children and want them to have a sense of belonging within their foster family, birth family and community
- We strive to ensure our children are ready and equipped for the next stage of their lives.
- We want our children to have the ability to be independent in their thoughts and actions and make positive contributions to society as adults
For foster parents:
- We take the time to understand trauma and harm and adjust our care accordingly
- We recruit, assess and train foster families in such a way that equips their journey to ensuring children are safe and happy
- We listen and empower our foster families. Through consultation, support and learning they are equipped to meet the individual needs of children
- We are proactive in promoting equality and tackling all forms of racism and prejudice in order to help achieve a better society for our children and families to thrive
- We promote a learning culture wherein staff and foster parents build and maintain expertise in the field of children and fostering and work collaboratively with our professional partners
- We are compassionate and discreet in our approach to working with children and their families
Our core principles and ethics:
“Safe and Happy” is the core of our being
- An intelligent, compassionate, creative, loyal, and adaptable approach to the delivery of fostering
- Security, safety and autonomy for our children, fostering families and staff
- Treating families and colleagues with respect, honesty, kindness and care with appropriate challenge where needed
- Leadership that models the vision, mission and values and behaviours to which we aspire
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.
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