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Martin James Foundation

Collaborating with partners to make a difference in the lives of children.

Martin James Foundation’s Vision: A world in which children do not live in institutions or orphanages, where they have help and support to deal with the consequences of trauma, and where every child can grow up and thrive in a safe and secure loving home.

The Foundation’s roots are in foster care provision. Over 30 years ago, Martin James Cockburn – a social worker and entrepreneur – began providing innovative foster care services. His work started in the UK in 1994 and then in 2005, moved to Ireland, Australia, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the USA. These services have gone on to provide quality care placements for around 40,000 children and young people.

There is increasing evidence of the negative impacts on children placed in institutions and orphanages. This has led to a global movement calling on governments to shift from institutional forms of care towards family-based care alternatives. Our extensive experience in designing and delivering quality foster care across different cultures and contexts, means we are uniquely placed to offer technical support and social work practice expertise to governments and non-governmental organisations who are looking to develop family-based care.

In 2017, the Martin James Foundation was born with the aim of addressing the crisis concerning displaced and orphaned children around the world. Since the Foundation’s inception we have worked closely with governments, non-government organizations and other partners to expand our activities and make an even greater impact to the lives of many more at risk children. We are pleased to be making a difference in countries far and wide including Jordan, Indonesia, India and Madagascar to name but a few.

Martin James Cockburn’s vision that children should not be separated from their families and placed in institutions is something we remain committed to. But to truly improve the life chances of all children living in institutions or facing the risk of institutionalization due to family breakdown, crisis or forced migration, we need to do so much more.