Life without Progress

What better way to introduce our dynamic and passionate Managing Director than to get out outsiders perspective!

While writing this blog with Claire, my trembling fingers tap away on the keyboard, noting down her words, silently biting back unexpected tears.

As we discuss the elements of the Progress business; from the company’s story to the achievements in residential homes and to the passion behind the Fostering Agency, one’s mind cannot help but to flicker back a decade.  A vivid image of a cold frosty January, as one’s 16-year-old self silently closes the front door to their father’s home for the last time. Clinging onto a sparsely packed shoulder bag as salty tears fall over burnt skin, moistening the blotchy purple marks and teeth-indented face; making a choice that far too many other young individuals face, prematurely propelling me into the solo adventure of adulthood a few years too early.

What I would have given at that crossroad for an organisation run by a managing director who unequivocally and bluntly states and I quote, “it does not matter how long an individual is with us, whether it is two hours or twenty years, we will make a positive difference in their lives. If you come to us with only a garbage bag, we will make sure you leave with a suitcase, a set of clothing that fits you, and a feeling that you matter.”

When I speak to the individuals at Progress; whether it be the Fostering Manager, the Social Workers, HR, or indeed the Managing Director, there is absolutely no doubt that each and every one of them are not only singing off the same hymn sheet, but that they make one heck of a formidable team. There are no words to describe, knowing there are children in the hands of people that put their entire hearts and beings into making a difference to the lives of these young people.

When I discuss Claire’s background with her, starting from Support Worker and working through the ranks, she talks about the importance of the role; when an individual chooses the role as a support worker for the wrong reasons, they can actually do more harm than good. If you spend time with someone from an abusive background used to hearing how they are not good enough, or your response to understandably challenging behaviour is not one of patience and effort to overcome the underlying root of the problem, you could add further damage to that individual. Do it for the right reasons; you will have no idea when the smallest seemingly insignificant efforts you make for the best intentions for that child could make the most powerful and positive impact on their lives. Same rules apply when considering the position of a Foster Carer.

The old cliché of ‘having a why that makes you cry’ when it comes to motivating yourself, is clear in the passion that each individual working for Progress shares. Unanimously, it is agreed that while not the easiest industry in the world, when your heart is in it and your primary focus is the child themselves, it delivers unmistakably the best job in the world.

It has been noted that sadly, there’s more demand for children in need of help than there is supply when it comes to the ratio of Foster Carers within the industry. When you have the means and desire to change a child’s life for the better, what’s stopping you?

If you are looking for a team that works as one single unit with endless personal development opportunities for yourself, parallel to those of young people whose future selves would show you no end of gratitude, perhaps a career as a Foster Carer or a Support Worker could be for you.

I know which company I would recommend.

Please check out our fostering area and our vacancies page and get in touch for more information today.

Step down to fostering

Step down to fostering

Progress is a privately owned specialist organisation with strong values and a high commitment to delivering and evidencing positive outcomes for children living at home or in care. We offer an integrated service which supports disabled children on their journey, focusing on the least restrictive support and ensuring the right package or placement at the right time.

Progress has evidence of successful transitions to foster placements for disabled children, which not only produces better outcomes for young people but also reduces the burden on public services and funding. In many cases the costs are halved. Recent examples include…


  • A child with a physical and learning disabilities – transitioned into a fostering placement along with his brother who is not disabled but was also in care; bringing them back together


  • A child with severe learning difficulties, non-verbal, continence issues, challenging behaviour – transitioned from residential placement


  • Twins with Autism – transitioned from residential placement together


  • A child with severe Autism accessing home/community support and residential short breaks but being taken into care – transitioned straight into fostering placement


Progress offers Foster Carers ongoing support which is bespoke to the individual and the foster placement, from staff who know the child thus ensuring continuity of care and secure attachments for the child. This model also provides tailored advice, resulting in better supported carers and greater levels of placement stability.


Our organisational structure provides community based activities, short breaks and ongoing regulated care and support in the community. This enables young people who are reaching adulthood to try out independent living in our training apartments as they reach transitional age, supported by their Foster Carers and staff that are known to them. They can then make a seamless transition into semi-independence or independence.


If you’d like more information on transitions to fostering or any other pathways or services we provide, please get in touch today.