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Local Authorities

Aims & Objectives

First Steps Fostering is an independent fostering agency dedicated to providing outstanding parent and child fostering provisions. We endeavour to place children at the heart of our organisation. In agreement with the Children Act 1989, we subscribe to the view that a child is best brought up in their own home with both parents playing a full part in their upbringing. Our foster carers are supported to assist parents in learning how to safely care for their children well. We recognise that this is not always possible and as an agency, work alongside Local Authorities to achieve permanence for children at the earliest opportunity.  

First Steps Fostering Agency aims to:  

  • Provide foster care placements and support packages for children and their parent (s) that offer a stable and consistent experience of family life, to enhance and maximise their life opportunities.  

  • Recruit and retain foster carers from diverse backgrounds thus ensuring a range of appropriate placements for children and young people.  

  • Respect and promote the ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic backgrounds of children and their parent(s)  

  • Make high quality matches between children, parent(s), and foster families where the skills and experience of the foster family provides the foundation for the improvement of the child’s life and increases the skillset of their parent(s)  

  • Develop a fostering service where partnership, working professionalism, respect, integrity, and fairness are central to all aspects of the operations and provisions.  

  • Always apply a children-centred approach where the welfare of the child is at the centre of everyone's thinking and actions.  

  • Assist the Local Authorities in improving the well-being of children in every aspect of their lives including Five Outcomes as per ‘Every Child Matters.’  

  • Provide a responsive, supportive, and professional 24-hour service for foster carers, children, their parent(s), and Local Authorities.  

  • Provide a commitment to the ongoing learning and professional development of the agency, foster carers, and staff by ensuring a diverse training programme is available.  

  • Ensure that the voice of the child is heard within the work that we do and that their needs are central to services. 

  • Establish, review, and maintain policies and procedures that will comply with legislative and statutory requirements and expectations.  

  • Our foster carers can expect a minimum of weekly (as necessary) supervisory visits along with a minimum of three unannounced visit a year.  

  • Supervising Social Workers will keep in regular contact with their carers with more frequent visiting if required. 

  • Regular progress reports will be sent to the placing authority sharing the progress of the child and their parent(s)  

  • All carers must meet the competencies set out by the TSDS within twelve months of approval and will be supported by their supervising Social Worker and a comprehensive training programme to achieve this. 

Core Values 

Children and their families are at the heart of what we do. We strongly believe that all children deserve safe care and opportunities to meet their potential. For some children, specialist support is required to provide their parents with the best opportunities to achieve this. All the placements with First Steps Fostering are non-judgemental, inclusive and focus on a strengths-based model where families are encouraged to build on their skills. Our carers are there to support parents in caring for their children and not to disempower them. We also believe that the decisions made in respect of long-term care for children should be evidence based and we work closely with our carers to ensure that they are provided with regular reflective supervision, training, and hands on support to complete excellent quality modelling and notes. The culture within the company is inclusive with a top-down approach. The directors are actively working with carers and families ensuring there is a small, supportive, and family feel. This also ensures that the directors are aware of the practice within their agency first-hand and can ensure that placements are robustly monitored and fully encompass the value base of First Steps Fostering. 

Equality and Diversity

First Steps Fostering Agency is committed to equality of opportunity. Our vision places equality at the heart of our approach to policy making, service delivery and employment. We are fully committed to providing holistic services which embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments, reinforced by our values, are embedded in our day to day working practices with all parents, children foster families, colleagues, customers, and any other stakeholders. We provide equal opportunities for all and do not tolerate discrimination. We are committed to identifying, understanding, and eliminating all barriers that prevent access to services, information, and employment.

Company Details

Supervising Social Worker and Training Delivery Manager: Gemma Manning (MA) 

Responsible Individual: Hannah Copley  (MA)  

Registered Manager: Elizabeth McNeill (MA) 

Assessment and Programme Delivery Manager: Sarah McCormack (BA hons) 

Company No: 14011155 

Address: 70 Maple Leaf Business Park, Manston, Ramsgate, CT12 5GD

Ofsted Registration: 2732929

Ofsted: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester. M1 2WD

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