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Celebrating 35 Years of Therapeutic Fostering

To mark our 35th birthday, we asked some of our foster parents and team members to share their journey with ISP.

September 1 2022 - 5 min read

To celebrate our 35th birthday, we asked some of our foster parents and team members to share their journey with ISP in our latest video campaign.

Founded in 1987, we were the UK's first-ever independent fostering agency. Since then, we've supported hundreds of foster families and helped to improve the experiences of children and young people in care.

Our mission has always been to put children at the centre of everything we do, so they can grow and develop, and live in harmony with themselves and those around them. And this will remain our mission as we embark on our next 35 years of therapeutic fostering.

At ISP, we take care of some very vulnerable children and young people, and it takes an incredibly dedicated, compassionate and patient team to do this. Tony, who is featured in our video campaign, said: "sometimes it really does take the ISP community to raise a child". And he is completely right.

We are so grateful to all those who have chosen to be part of our community over the years. It's because of you, our community of foster families and staff, that we've been able to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of so many children - so thank you!

Ready to join the UK's most established fostering agency?

If you've been thinking about fostering, then speak to one of our friendly advisors today and discover what it's like to foster with ISP.

Speak to our team today

Video transcript

Sheryl, ISP foster parent and senior referrals officer

We fostered a number of children and we've had some of them long-term. We got a phone call on the 12th of December. My husband called me and he said: "We've had a phone call, there's an 8-year-old boy, his placement has broken down, they need a placement for him today. They've said he's difficult but if we say
no then he's probably going to have to go into residential but there's no pressure". So I said, "so what did you say?" and he said, "he's getting here at 3pm".

I can still remember he'd been with us for 3 years and he'd had a really bad day. He'd spent his whole day smashing up his bedroom and punching me and telling me how much he really hated me. It must have gone on for about 8 hours. And I was sitting on the floor in his bedroom, his bedroom was trashed, and he sat between my legs and I was just holding him so he couldn't hurt himself. He was crying and I was crying, and I said to him, "baby, you're not going anywhere" and he said, "why?" I said, "because I love you" and he turned around and looked at me and said, "you're my mum now" and that was it.

Helen, ISP foster parent

Support has always been good and this is why we chose ISP in the first place. I know that there is always somebody there 24/7. There is always somebody, even if it's not my particular fostering advisor, there are others who will know who we are and know our children, so there is always support.


It's not one size fits all, that's the whole therapeutic part. ISP will find what is right for that child and for that family to support that child to go through life in a much more positive way.

Tony, Supervising Social Worker

I think ISP have kept its identity and that makes me feel very proud that they are a truly therapeutic organisation without a shadow of a doubt.

Jenny, ISP foster parent

Yeah, I'm proud to be part of ISP. I'm proud that I'm part of the therapeutic side, the caring for children, what ISP believe in, and the ethos of the organisation. I'll be honest with you, I wouldn't work for anybody else and I always recommend ISP.


The fact that they're still going 35 years later speaks volumes. I would love to know the number of children, like the exact number of children, whose lives ISP has touched. Whether it's been for a long-term placement or sometimes a child could just be placed in ISP for a few weeks, but it will make a difference to their lives.


ISP is special in lots and lots of ways. It is part, for me, the therapy, the therapeutic input, but it's also about it being a community and everybody works really, really closely to support foster parents and the children that we look after. We know that it sometimes does take the ISP community to raise a child. That's one of the strengths of ISP that they really do transform children's lives.