Who we are


We know that the outcomes of children raised in institutional care are comparatively poorer than those raised in a supportive family environment and that’s why Martin James Cockburn founded the Martin James Foundation Group in 2018. Jim started his career as a social worker and since then has worked directly in fostering and children’s services provision, both in the UK and across the globe.

Founder & History

I felt the time was right to build on the skills and expertise we had already developed with Key Assets, FosterTalk and other capacity building projects, to support and enable more communities around the world to promote and deliver family-based care for the most vulnerable and displaced children.”

Jim Cockburn, Founder and Chair

The story began when Jim Cockburn set up Foster Care Associates (FCA) in 1994, an independent fostering agency and one of the earliest in England. By 2006 FCA had grown considerably – operating across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s now known as Core Assets.

In 2007, an international group of companies called Key Assets were formed out of all this work, as franchises. Services are now delivered across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America – operating in eight countries.

Key Assets Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are not for profit organisations and are part of the Martin James Foundation. FosterTalk an organisation in the UK focused solely on supporting foster carers was set up in the same year and is also now part of the foundation.
Since 2007 Key Assets have collectively placed 2,500 children and supported 1,500 families. FosterTalk support 30,000 foster carers a year.



Worldwide there are over 140 million* orphaned children and over 70 million forcibly displaced people; among these are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18**. We can’t tackle this problem alone So, together we’re committed to reducing the numbers of children placed in institutions and orphanages, by promoting and delivering family-based care models or providing communities and partners with the support they need – so they can too. • We empower professionals, families and local communities to deliver better outcomes for children. We do this through our direct provision of high-quality family and community-based care and through our support, education and training to enable communities globally to develop and provide these services themselves. • We provide trauma informed services for children and families who have experienced forced migration. We use our experience, skills and resource to support displaced families in unstable and high-risk situations such as civil unrest and natural disasters • We engage in innovative partnerships to pilot, accelerate and scale new opportunities to help as many children and families as possible • We work with academics, governments, non-governmental organisations, practitioners, policy makers and carers to champion, and raise the profile of the work that is happening globally, as an alternative to systematic institutionalisation. We can’t do the work we do without our amazing partners and we are always looking for new partnerships and connections.

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