In February 2016, Jigsaw (NW) Independent Fostering, a not-for-profit fostering agency based in Stalybridge near Manchester, merged with The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) – a national not-for-profit agency that covers the North West region.
Jigsaw, a well-established agency set up in 1998, has battled through many years against the emergence of commercial profit-driven private fostering agencies in the area. Keen to uphold their ethical, not-for-profit approach and not to succumb to commercial takeover, Jigsaw sought out FCC – a ‘kindred spirit’ – to help them maintain their service.
Jigsaw’s director and founder Jane Nield said:
'We have found an organisation with principles in full alignment with ours. We have been through some difficult times over the last ten years or so…we’re proud of the fact that we’ve held on to our principles of ‘not-for-profit’ and ‘child focus’ and have ensured that these will continue’.
Ian Brazier, FCC’s executive director, said:
‘The courageous and early decision made by Jigsaw’s management has ensured that all the (foster) placements are both supported and sustainable well into the future and that they can fund their liabilities, secure their legacy and cease independent operation in a planned and orderly manner.
‘This is a great example of not-for-profit organisations supporting each other and a clear demonstration to our commercial competitors of a truly co-operative approach. We are undoubtedly stronger together.’
FCC have also managed to secure staff jobs within the Jigsaw office – which will now continue operating as The Foster Care Co-operative.
The amalgamated organisations will continue to operate from a purely child-focused perspective: to plough any surplus income after overheads into the support of their carers and children over and above expectation.
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