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The Foster Care Co-operative

Organisation Summary

Business Sector:Children's Services

Business Activities:Foster carer recruitment, training, support

Business Location:England and Wales

Chief Executive:Sumerjit Ram



Legal structure:Industrial and Provident Society

The Foster Care Co-operative

The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) is an ethically-based, UK wide organisation, striving to increase the total number of foster homes by recruiting and training new foster carers.

It puts the needs of children first and provides a child care service of quality that is delivered with integrity. All of its carers are assured of continuing qualified, professional support and good remuneration, as they are an integral part of the co-operative. FCC is currently the only fostering organisation operating as a co-operative in the UK.

The carers provide nurturing homes to give children the stability that will help them to realise their full potential. They live in rural and city areas, and come from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds. What they all have in common is a commitment to the children. The stability of the placements with FCC is considerably higher than the national average. It is currently 3 years and 6 months – although many families foster children into independence with some even ‘staying put’ in the fostering home.

The organisation supports carers in a variety of ways, including:

  • Professional Social Worker support provided 24/7
  • Regular local support groups
  • Regular professional training
  • Web-based guidance and administrative support
  • Education Support Officers available
  • Health advice
  • Transition from care support
  • Home Health and Safety Assessment
  • Regular payment in advance
  • Expenses paid to enable carers to attend training
  • 14 nights respite care
  • Eligibility for limited support from The Foster Care Co-operative Charity Trust
  • Membership of Fostering Network

The co-operative, whose head office is in Malvern, Worcestershire, has grown steadily with regional offices now in Cardiff and Greater Manchester, and contracts with around 54 local authorities.

Registered with Co-operatives UK, it has more than 50 employee members across the UK, and over 100 carers looking after around 130 children in the Midlands, Bristol and the South West, Yorkshire, the North West, the East of England and throughout Wales.

FCC has recently won the Inspiring Co-operative of the Year Award, as organised by Co-operatives UK.

E3M Member

The Foster Care Co-operative

Name:Sam Ram

Title :Chief Executive

Sumerjit (Sam) Ram is the Chief Executive of The Foster Care Co-operative, a not-for-profit ‘co-operative’ fostering organisation. The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) is an ethically-based, UK wide organisation, striving to increase the total number of foster homes by recruiting and training new foster carers. It is unique in that it is the only one of its kind in the country.

Sam has over 28 years’ experience of Strategic leadership at CEO and Director levels. She has established a reputation for crafting innovative ethical strategies and service delivery models, and influencing national policy and reforms – the focus always being on achieving sustainable outcomes for children, families and the wider community through developing meaningful collaborations/partnerships. She has had the opportunity see the positive lifechanging impact of her work on children, which continues to be her driving force.

Sam holds an MA in Leadership and Innovation and is a key leader within Skyrocket, a training provider that prepares Registered Managers for the unique responsibilities of managing a fostering organisation. Sam delivers the Leadership coaching and mentoring element of the course. Skyrocket was founded by the CEOs of The Foster Care Co-operative, along with two other not-for-profit fostering Agencies. FCC prides itself on its strong value base and the child centred approach in all that it does; being awarded ‘Inspiring Co-operative of the Year’ in 2018 is something the agency is particularly proud of.