Why choose
AFA Fostering?


Being an independent fostering agency is vitally important to us.

A growing number of foster agencies are owned by private equity companies with the sole aim of making money. This has never been our intention, and never will be.

Our aim is to provide committed, empathetic and knowledgeable foster carers to local authorities within East Anglia and the Midlands. We are absolutely committed to placing children who are not able to remain with their own family in an alternative family placement.

We seek to recruit, train and support carers who can provide placements for children and young people in their local area.

Ultimately, we want to provide opportunities for looked after children and young people to achieve their full potential and live happy and fulfilling lives.

Our experience stems right from the top.

Our Directors, Nigel and Graeme, have more than 75 years’ experience in social work, fostering and family placement work between them. They are passionate about ensuring the children in foster placements with AFA receive the highest possible standards of care.

Nigel Pickering AFA Fostering

Nigel Pickering


The AFA mission of Quality Care 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.

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. Since 1993, I have worked for fostering services in both the public and the private sector.

In 2009, Graeme and I set up AFA so we could put everything we’ve learnt towards creating the right sort of independent fostering agency, with the children’s needs at its heart. Now we’re an established agency I believe the reasons we started in the first place are as valid and important today as they were back in 2009.

Graeme Duncombe AFA Fostering

Graeme Duncombe


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 into 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.

I have over thirty years’ experience in social work, child protection and family placement work. I’ve worked as a senior manager in an independent fostering agency for a lengthy period. This experience has given me considerable insight in to the issues facing children and families, and also the challenges faced by the professionals involved. I apply everything that I’ve learned over the years to keep AFA at the forefront of foster care.

The children’s welfare is top of our agenda, and always will be.

We’re dedicated to providing the highest standards of care.

We work in close partnership with local authorities, professionals from statutory and voluntary organisations, regulatory bodies and, most importantly, foster carers.

We get to know both the children and our foster carers individually. This means we can carefully match children with the right foster carer. We are proud of the strong, supportive relationships that children develop with their foster families.

How well children and young people are helped and protected was recognised by Ofsted as outstanding in our most recent inspection report.

Find out more about why you should chose AFA Fostering to help you on your fostering journey.

We are with you every step of the way.

Our experienced team are on call any time of the day or night. They are there for help, advice, or just a listening ear.

Through our training and support, you will develop the skills and confidence to provide children with a stable and consistent environment.

Find out more about the support we provide.

Zadie’s Story

Jag, our placement officer, has been a cornerstone in achieving our goal as foster carers. When we had a million questions to ask, she answered every one with a smile. We recently went through to panel with the words “you’ll be fine” ringing through our ears. And we were.

The whole process from start to finish was easy and comfortable with chances for you to speak about your life with someone who came across as a friend. It was completed at our pace as both of us worked and had other commitments. AFA are able to work around you and make arrangements for visits and assessments when convenient for you.

 There is regular training for foster parents, tailored to our new role. I think the reason we enjoy the training is that the classes are small enough for everyone to join in and be heard. We have also had the chance to meet some great foster carers, and some new ones, whom we share our stories with. We give each other hints and tips, as well as hugs if need be.

Throughout the whole process, my partner and I have never felt daunted, or like we could not carry on with it. We enjoyed the whole process and would encourage anyone who wanted to be a member of a great company to get on board. So, thanks AFA for making our journey pleasant!”


Get in touch

This information will only be used to process your expression of interest within AFA as a potential foster carer and will not be shared with any 3rd party.

Already a foster carer?

We’d love to hear from experienced foster carers too. Find out more about transferring fostering agency.