AFA Fostering

About us

AFA Fostering is run by co-Directors Nigel Pickering and Graeme Duncombe who share over 70 years’ experience of social work, fostering, family placement work and management experience between them.


Graeme Duncombe

I have nearly thirty years experience in social work, child protection and family placement work and I have worked as a senior manager in an independent fostering agency for a lengthy period. I have very significant former experience in the statutory sector, managing family placement services. I additionally have up to date experience working in a Local Authority Child Protection social work setting that has given me considerable insight in to the issues facing children and families and also the challenges faced by the professionals involved.

I firmly believe that every child and young person should have a good opportunity to make their way in life. Sadly, for some children, their own family circumstances have led to them being unable to be brought up within their family. I have seen children come from quite distressing circumstances and yet, through the care and dedication of foster carers, I have been privileged to see such children develop and grow in to smashing people against the odds. That is why I am involved in ensuring, with my colleagues, that we provide the best possible circumstances for AFA carers and children.

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Nigel Pickering

I have been a social worker since 1976. I have worked in a variety of settings including children’s homes, schools, and childcare social work teams and since 1993 for fostering services in both the public and the private sector. As a qualified social worker and manager I managed fostering teams for Norfolk County Council before working as a Regional Director for a major independent fostering agency. In 2009 I left to set up AFA with colleague Graeme Duncombe.

The AFA mission of Quality Placements with Integrity and Respect underpins my approach to supporting foster carers and providing homes for vulnerable young people. The relationships we build with our carers and the trust that develops between us is the key to successful working.

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Statement From The Directors 05/08/2016