Foster Care Associates Group of Companies

Hidden mission statement
http://www.thefca.co.uk

Officially a Very Good
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Officially a Very Good
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Officially an Outstanding
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Officially a World Class
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Officially a World Class
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Best Company to work for in the UK
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When your job involves caring for others it's reassuring to know that your colleagues show that they care for you too. This is the ethos that makes working at Foster Care Associates (FCA) such an enjoyable experience. Employees say that people in their team really care for each other, earning the company a top 10 positive score of 86% in our survey. “We approach everything as a team,” says executive director Sally Melbourne, who is responsible for performance and development. Each foster carer looking after a child or young person is supported by a team that includes a social worker, an education liaison officer, a therapist and a support worker. The culture of the company means that an employee can also phone any colleague if they need a hand. People feel a strong sense of family in their teams (78%) and say they are fully supported by their managers (80%). Weekly team meetings reinforce the constant atmosphere of co-operation and encouragement. Staff don't feel under too much pressure at work (70%) and feel that colleagues go out of their way to help each other, giving an 80% score. Senior managers are part of the team. The two founders of FCA know what it is like to be in their staff's shoes — Jim Cockburn was a social worker and Jan Rees was a foster carer when they founded the organisation in 1994. “The unique thing about the management,” says Rupee Sandhu, a senior supervising social worker based in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, “is that they know what's going on in each office.” Staff say the organisation is run on strong principles (76%) and they have full confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management, giving a 73% score. “It's a very demanding and stressful job,” says Sandhu. “But at FCA, it's all about the support and training.” Every social worker must have 90 hours of training every three years to keep them up to date with current practices, Sandhu says. She has done almost 360 hours over three years. “The training programme is amazing,” she adds. Sandhu's colleagues agree. They say the job is good for their personal growth, giving a score of 76%. They feel the experience they gain from working at FCA is valuable for their future (77%) and think that their managers help them to fulfil their potential (71%). While the company may offer support to staff in every aspect of their job, people don't feel smothered and are given the trust and responsibility to work under their own steam. “I like that I am able use my own initiative,” says Jane Chadwick, a senior education officer. This trust is appreciated by staff. They know that managers care about how satisfied they are in their job (75%) and really care about them (78%), both scores placing FCA in the top 30. The freedom to get on with the job extends to suggesting ideas which shape the way the company works. As an Asian social worker, Sandhu is interested in introducing transracial placements — where a black child may be fostered by a white family, for instance. When she expressed an interest in this area to senior staff, she was pleased with the result. “They didn't dismiss it. They really supported me,” Sandhu says. Her manager has looked into training courses about transracial fostering and suggested she learns more. This kind of encouragement means that people at FCA really feel involved at work (78%) and think they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the company (79%).

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

89% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

FCA offers secondment opportunities to other areas of the business for learning and development experiences. They also offer buddying and mentoring programmes by experienced managers to support others. Promotion is often from within and vacancies are advertised internally.

Giving Something Back

87% of staff agreed

My organisation makes a positive difference to the world we live in

Foster Care Associates have team away days together with team building and team meetings to enhance communication channels. The Vision and Values of the company encompass the importance of working as one team.

My Company

87% of staff agreed

My work is an important part of my life

Celebrating success forms part of the company's values and staff are rewarded for outstanding achievements through honorariums, internal promotions, long service awards and celebrating success stories using the intranet and local FCA news-letters. In addition FCA is currently running a company wide 'Employee of the Year' award and 'Accolade' award.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

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