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Chair Foundations

Foundations is generating and championing actionable evidence that improves services to support family relationships. Could you lead this work as their new Chair?

  • Location: London
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 19th August

Who we are.

Foundations believe that vulnerable children should have the foundational family or other close relationships they need to thrive in life.

Family in all its forms can be one of the most powerful conduits for almost every outcome that children experience. These relationships are fundamental to children’s life chances and can be improved by high-quality support, which is not always provided when needed.

This is why Foundations have such an important role in generating the actionable evidence that can shape and improve services to strengthen family relationships so that more children can live safely and happily at home with the foundations they need to reach their full potential.

Foundations was formed in December 2022 when The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) and What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) formally merged, bringing together two sister organisations with a shared mission to use high-quality evidence to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

Foundations reflects the best of the two previous charities and focuses on providing support at the earliest possible stage, remaining deeply rooted in children’s social care practice. By bringing together the talents of both organisations, they have created a unified new team focused on delivering an exciting new strategy.

Over the next five years, Foundations will prioritise five major themes, with an eye always on generating actionable findings that can shape and improve services. These five areas are:

  1. Supporting parenting
  2. Strengthening family networks
  3. Domestic abuse
  4. Relationships for care experienced people and the service and practice models that underpin all of this
  5. Service and practice models

This strategy means that Foundations will make long-term investments to find out what works in these fields, focusing on depth over breadth.

The Board.

Who we are looking for.

The Chair is central to Foundations’s work. They will lead the Board and Chief Executive to ensure Foundations is a high-impact charity, able to generate and champion actionable evidence that improves services to support family relationships for the most vulnerable children.

Foundations need a chair adept at forming and maintaining positive connections and networks in support of the work. The new Chair will be equally at home in conversation with families and frontline services as with the media, funders, or government.

The Chair needs to nurture a light-process, high-impact culture for an organisation increasingly focused and determined to generate actionable evidence about what works.

Foundations’s Chair will:

  • Ensure the charity delivers the strategy that Trustees are committed to and that there is continuity in delivering a high-performance culture.
  • Lead Trustees in holding the executive team to account for the charity’s mission, providing support and challenge.
  • Act as a spokesperson and ambassador – representing Foundations where needed in meetings with central government officials and Ministers, chairing events and developing relationships with people who can help us achieve our impact.
  • Review objectives and key results for the Chief Executive, providing coaching support, feeding back on their performance and leading on Chief Executive recruitment if there is a vacancy.
  • Facilitate Trustees to actively participate, share divergent views and reach decisions as part of the organisation’s governance. Ensure that the business of Board committees is performed well by respective committee chairs.
  • Chair meetings of the Board so they are conducted efficiently and effectively, ensuring that the charity is properly governed.
  • Ensure the Board fulfils its duties to ensure the sound financial health of the charity and that the Board’s performance is best serving the impact Foundations is working to achieve.

The new Chair will have:

  • Deep interest and personal commitment to improving the quality of foundational relationships for the most vulnerable children.
  • Knowledge of the political and policy context of early intervention and children’s social care.
  • Extensive experience successfully leading an organisation in a relevant field, with the ability to share this experience as a coach and mentor.
  • Act as a prominent and credible public voice for a field of social policy or research and a persuasive champion for causes.
  • Experience of contributing to a high-performing board and organisational governance, recognising the boundary between the role of trustees and an executive team.
  • Understanding of the financial, structural, and people dimensions of leading an organisation and a commitment to a culture of excellent performance.
  • Familiarity with What Works Centres and a commitment to high-quality impact evaluations, and the important role of Randomised Controlled Trials.
  • Ability to build relationships with senior stakeholders across a wide range of organisations, including government, to secure sustainable funding.
  • Demonstrable experience of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

Terms of appointment

There are currently four board meetings each year, and a Trustee awayday is held on an ad-hoc basis.

The Chair will have regular meetings with the Chief Executive and be expected to attend irregular meetings with Foundations’s external stakeholders (including politicians and funders) as appropriate, as well as attend occasional Foundations events.

The time commitment for the Chair is expected to be the equivalent of 1-2 days per month on average.


Trustees, including the Chair, are unremunerated, but necessary expenses will be reimbursed.

Length of appointment

The Chair of Trustees is appointed for an initial three-year term, with an option to renew for a further three years (up to a maximum of six years in total).

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Marie McQuade | marie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 442646

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Marie McQuade

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About Foundations

Few things are more important than the quality of our relationships, but not all children have access to supportive relationships that can make such a difference in their lives. Loving and stable family and family-like relationships can support children to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

There are too many children in crisis or chronic situations without the support they need, even though many people are working hard to make the lives of vulnerable children better. The earlier we make the right interventions, the fewer families could reach crisis. We believe a focus on strengthening family relationships for vulnerable children is a key part of the solution. Our vision is a society where vulnerable children have the family or other close relationships they need to thrive.

Vision – Vulnerable children have the foundational relationships they need to thrive in life.

Mission – Generating and championing actionable evidence that improves services to support family relationships.

Foundations will help realise this vision by generating and championing the actionable evidence needed to change the system for the better.

They will influence policy and guide practice to improve services that support family relationships and drive better outcomes for vulnerable children.

Foundations will work with national policymakers and local system leaders to translate evidence into solutions for effective family support services and bring evidence and rigour to critical interventions in the lives of children facing risks in the family environment. To achieve this, they will work to improve the following child outcomes:

  • Children and young people are supported by their families to develop and thrive.
  • Children and young people are safe in their homes.
  • Children, young people, and families stay together as much as is safely possible.
  • Children in care and care leavers have stable, loving relationships.

Improving child outcomes is their ultimate focus, but it will not always be feasible to influence these directly through their work, given the multiple factors impacting them. Foundations have therefore included the organisational outcomes they are seeking to achieve and the indicators they will use to measure progress.

Foundations will work to Five Guiding Principles:

  1. Actively pursue a preventative and early intervention approach in our work.
  2. Use robust and transparent evidence standards to generate and champion rigorous evidence.
  3. Seek change so that children and families have more power in how services work.
  4. Ensure our work actively promotes equality, diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  5. Work with partners to enact change.

Learn more about Foundations

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Foundations – Chair” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Marie McQuade | marie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07903 442646

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Mon 19th August 2024
    First stage interviews: Wednesday 11th September 2024 (online)
    Second stage interviews: Wednesday 18th September 2024 (in person)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Foundations are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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