by Sarah Wickham, Placements and Contracting Manager
Team Fostering was established in 2001 by Peter Richardson and Walter Young. After years of working in the fostering sector, they shared the belief that independent fostering agencies should not make a profit from children and young people in care. At a time when many agencies were doing just that, Peter and Walter took a leap of faith and created Team Fostering. As a result of their principles, dedication and ethical values, staff and foster carers were quick to join the new agency and, indeed, many members of the original staff and foster carer team are still here to this day. One of those is Sarah Wickham, our Placements and Contracting Manager. Sarah has been with the agency since its inception and has carried out a number of roles which put children’s futures first.
We hear from Sarah as we approach our 18th birthday…
“I joined Team Fostering in January 2001 having worked with Walter, Peter and Elaine previously. I made a conscious decision to join Team at the very beginning of its journey as I truly believed in the directors and their values. In fact, despite that fact I was joining Team Fostering in its infancy, at no point was I concerned that I may have been taking a big risk, as the dedication of the founding directors was so strong and it felt exciting to be part of that.
From day one, everyone who had any connection with the agency worked so hard to get things off the ground. We were all determined, passionate and excited about the future of Team Fostering as a not-for-profit agency, and as each week and month passed we continued to grow stronger.
No matter how much the fostering world has changed over the years, I have always had confidence that Team Fostering would continue to succeed and flourish, because we have an incredible group of staff and foster carers who go above and beyond each and every day to put children’s futures at the heart of everything they do.
Many things have kept me with Team Fostering for the past 18 years – the staff group, the foster carers, making a difference to children’s lives, the variety in the different roles I have had, and the fact no two days are ever the same. I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of the agency’s journey from day one, and to still feel so passionate and committed to what Team was set up for, is so very important to me.
The agency is not-for-profit, and that means that any surplus made is reinvested into the services provided to foster carers, children and young people. Operating in this way aligns with the ethical values that underpin the very foundations of the agency, and it is fantastic to work with a team of foster carers and staff that share the ethical belief that no-one should make money from children and young people in care.”
If you're interested in fostering for a not-for-profit fostering agency, Team Fostering provides training, support, fees and allowances to help you flourish in your role.
You can speak with us about training as a foster carer, or transferring to us from another agency, in any of the following ways: