The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) has been shortlisted for a Co-operative of the Year award!
The annual Co-operative of the Year awards are organised and hosted by Co-operatives UK, an organisation that works to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses around the country. Every year, staff, members, customers and the general public are invited to vote for a coop organisation that they feel best represents the ‘co-operative’ model. Being nominated for an award is validation in itself that those associated or familiar with the organisation believe in its approaches, objectives and ethos.
This year there are four categories: Leading Co-operative of the Year, Inspiring Co-operative of the Year, Breakthrough Co-operative of the Year and Co-operative Council of the Year.
FCC has been shortlisted for the Inspiring Co-operative of the Year award.
Earlier this year, FCC was visited by Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK. He had this to say about the organisation: “For nearly twenty years the Foster Care Co-operative has shown what a difference it makes when an organisation is run by the people most involved, the foster carers and staff. The wider social care sector is gradually waking up to the importance of participation, something that the Foster Care Co-operative has pioneered for almost two decades. There is so much that can be learnt from this inspiring organisation.”
FCC’s founder, Laurie Gregory, was a Deputy Director within a local authority and a foster carer himself when he started FCC.
“Quite apart from the morality of it, I wanted to give more children the chance of family life,” Laurie said. “I instinctively did not wish to start a ‘for profit’ company and after meetings with my Chamber of Commerce and invaluable advice from Co-operatives UK, I chose the model of multi-stakeholder and common ownership and registered the company. We have grown slowly by bringing new people to fostering.”
Why vote for The Foster Care Co-operative?
First and foremost, FCC is the only not-for-profit fostering agency operating as a co-operative in the UK. They make no commercial profit, and operate purely to run the service. This means that any surplus income is ploughed straight back into the organisation to provide more support and training for their foster carers.
With no profit-driven business targets to worry about, child-to-carer matching is everything to the organisation. This means that children are less likely to experience disruptive moves from one foster home to another for the length of time that they are in the care system.
This is how fostering should be.
You can vote for FCC here. Voting closes 15th June 2018.
Thousands of new foster carers are required each year to help care for vulnerable children. Could you change a child’s life? Make a no obligation enquiry here about becoming a foster carer for The Foster Care Co-operative.