Lesley Ward Director Next Step Fostering

Lesley Ward
Director
Next Step Fostering

As a family-run independent Fostering agency, we provide a specialist Fostering service to our Local Authorities. Next Step Fostering was founded by my family following our own experiences of fostering. We wanted to create a service that would thoughtfully match looked after children with the best Foster Carers available. We wanted to remain part of those families’ lives and offer continued support, to help the children and their carers thrive.

Since its beginning, the Next Step Fostering Group has put the needs of our looked after children and our Carers at the heart of everything that we do. I have worked at Next Step from the start, as a qualified Social Worker and Registered Manager ahead of becoming Director. I remain as passionate about this ethos today as I was when I first
joined the organisation nearly 30 years ago.

Growing up in a Fostering family myself I have a unique insight into Fostering, its challenges as well as its rewards. I am proud to bring this insight to Next Step, where we blend a true sense of family with excellent industry professionalism.
No matter what your circumstances, marital status, gender or background – and even whether you have children of your own or not – if you have the compassion and commitment to care for a Foster child, we would like to talk to you.

The Next Step Fostering Group can help you take your first steps towards an amazing and rewarding career and an opportunity to change a child’s life.

Next Step is of course regulated by Ofsted.     View our latest report

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People

We can only do what we do because of the quality of our Foster Carers and our staff. Next Step is fortunate to have a stable, motivated and highly skilled group of Carers and staff – across all of its offices. Our Director, Lesley Ward has been involved with Next Step for nearly thirty years and her role keeps her in touch with all our foster carers and young people.
Our Registered Manager, Neil McCarthy is also a qualified Social Worker, and has many years experience in various aspects of the care system. He holds overall responsibility for the provision of the service across the Next Step Fostering offices.

Meet the team       Our values