Core Assets Group has a history to be proud of. We’ve developed our services, diversified our companies and established ourselves as industry-leading experts, but how did it happen?

Jim Cockburn and Jan Rees OBE began the Core Assets story in 1994 setting up Foster Care Associates (FCA) in the Midlands as an independent fostering agency, one of the earliest in England.

The timeline below shows how our humble beginnings in Bromsgrove sowed the seed for today’s international Core Assets Group, a social care organisation that holds onto the best of public, private and third sector values.

  • 1994

    FCA an independent fostering agency is founded and established in the Midlands region of England with the first office being situated on the outskirts of Bromsgrove.

    The early mission was to offer Quality Care in a Family Setting with the first placement coming from Worcestershire Local Authority.

  • 1997

    The FCA establish themselves in the South East, Kent & Sussex, Solent, South West, Thames Valley, Western and Yorks & Lincs regions of the United Kingdom.

  • 2000

    By 2000 FCA was already moving its central support team to the Saxon Business Park where its Head office can still be found today.

  • 2002

    Already operating across England and Wales, expansion into Scotland was next on the journey and FCA Scotland, a not for profit fostering agency, was established, becoming only the second independent agency operating in Scotland. Soon after, FCA set up its fostering services in Northern Ireland.

  • 2002

    The social care landscape in England changed dramatically with the introduction of the Care Standards Act 2000 and its accompanying guidance to make provision for the registration and regulation of fostering. To respond to the change FCA Ltd was incorporated, taking over the trade, assets and liabilities of the original English and Welsh regions.

  • 2004

    The groups first diversification from fostering was set up in the form of a Training Consultancy & Resourcing company called Outcomes UK. This brand name reinforced the commitment to achieving positive outcomes for children.

  • 2005

    Another first for FCA was the establishment of Fostering First Ireland. This signalled the move to delivering international services.

  • 2006

    By 2006, FCA was well known as a provider of high quality fostering placements and its Team Parenting model had gained a good reputation for the support it offered to children and their foster carers. Keen to continue growing, FCA acquired Fostering People, a small independent fostering agency with its registered office in Nottingham.

    Building on its expansion plans for Fostering People, another small local Nottingham fostering agency was acquired and created the beginnings of the Fostering People brand.

  • “We believe that the basic needs of children, their families and their foster carers the world over are the same. We maintain the dual imperative of being child centred and carer focused”

    Estella Abraham, CEO International
  • 2006

    The FCA Group of Companies was established as parent company of FCA, FCA Scotland, Fostering People and Fostering First Ireland.

  • 2007

    Invited to take our fostering model ‘down under’ Key Assets Australia and Key Assets New Zealand are established as new companies. The first office was in Western Australia and caused huge excitement and pride throughout the company.

  • 2009

    Two years later, FCA was operating in Europe and Canada – local staff were employed and the FCA Vision and Values shared.

  • "What underpins Core Assets’ vision, mission and values is a fundamental belief that it is important to give as many vulnerable and challenging children as possible the chance to safely flourish and achieve within their own communities and in family based placements, that too many children around the world are unnecessarily in residential homes, and that children and their basic needs are the same the world over."

    Jim Cockburn Founder Owner
  • 2009

    Planned diversification into other social care services led to the establishment of Core Children’s Services working primarily across English Local Authorities.
    Soon after in recognition of the growth and span of work the FCA Group of Companies changed its name to Core Assets.


  • 2010

    International growth continued apace with a move in to Asia with new companies in Japan and Singapore, followed in 2011 by a move into the USA with Key Assets Kentucky and 2 years later into Florida.

  • 2012

    This year saw the acquisition of Carter Brown, the largest national expert witness service creating yet more diversity for the group.

  • 2012

    Recognising its worldwide experience and developing knowledge of children’s services across a number of countries, the group was keen to push a research agenda. We embarked on a unique partnership with Oxford University to establish the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education. This remains as a corporate social responsibility pledge for six years funding.

  • 2013

    Core Assets Children’s Services were awarded a grant to set up Adopters for Adoption a brand new voluntary adoption agency as part of the government’s adoption reform agenda

  • 2014

    Being awarded the contract to deliver the British Forces Social Work Service in Germany raised the profile of the group within the UK government.

    Remaining true to our entrepreneurial roots, Core Assets launched a new fostering agency in the Midlands called Active Care Solutions.

Along the way we’ve developed ground breaking services, shared best practice across our international communities and continued to develop our knowledge and practice wisdom. Team Parenting®, our systemic practice framework, has been at the heart of our work with foster care from the very beginning and influenced the shape of our international fostering endeavours as well as our broader children’s services.