Team Fostering - Latest News - 20 Years of Team Fostering: From The Start

20 Years of Team Fostering: From the Very Start

29 January 2021

This weekend, on the 31st of January, marks exactly 20 years since Team Fostering’s very first foster carers were approved and we started off on our journey towards offering high-quality foster care in the North East (at first) and then quickly after, in the Yorkshire and East Midlands areas.

The story of Team Fostering started around a kitchen table in a house in Whitley Bay, not far from Newcastle. Founding team members and colleagues Peter Richardson, Walter Young and Elaine Young decided that, having gathered a considerable amount of experience in the fostering sector already, there was a now a fantastic opportunity to provide a high-standard of care to young people in the area, but to do it in a way that felt authentic, ethical and child-focussed. It was their shared belief that Independent Fostering Agencies like Team Fostering should not be making a profit from children and young people in care. (Read more about these early days here.)

It was a ‘leap of faith’ for everyone involved without doubt, as despite the team’s vast experience, Team Fostering would still be new and unproven as an organisation, and would rely on the shared bravery of foster carers and other staff members in choosing a brand-new fostering agency.

But they did! Remarkably, just two weeks after founding the agency on 16th January 2001, Team Fostering’s first carers were approved – many of whom remain with the agency until this day. Our longest-term foster carers often speak of the ‘credibility” of the Team Fostering founders, and their willingness to make the leap with confidence in the people involved. (Read more about this journey here.)

Many new foster carers, drawn to Team Fostering by our not-for-profit status and our key values of respect, transparency, reliability and honesty with an ever-present focus on children first, joined the agency over the years, and we blossomed from a tiny agency with a handful of dedicated, passionate team members to an organisation with over 65 staff based across four offices in North Shields, Middlesbrough, Sheffield and South Normanton.

If you’re interested by our position as a not-for-profit agency putting children at the centre of what we do, you can get in touch by:

- Calling us on 0800 292 2003
- Leaving us an enquiry here
- Live chatting with us here on our website
- Emailing us at

Find out more about Team Fostering at 20 and follow all of our updates in our 20th Birthday year here on our website.