our leadership team

“At the very heart of our Polaris Community is a common aim where everyone is committed to making a difference and to achieve the best outcomes for children across the UK.”

Headshot of Jo August, Polaris CEO

Jo August

Chief Executive Officer

Jo has a lifetime of experience in fostering and wider children’s services, having grown up in a fostering family as well as gaining 25+ years professional experience in the sector – her formative years spent within ISP! Prior to joining Polaris in 2017, Jo spent 15 years successfully building and subsequently leading national fostering agency By the Bridge. 

Jonathan Clark

Chief Financial Officer

Jonathan joined FCA in 2007. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCooper, he gained valuable experience in many areas relating to finance including auditing, due diligence and other deal related advisory services. He has successfully supported the growth of the Community.

Headshot of John Platt, Managing Director

John Platt

Managing Director of FCA, FP & ACS

John joined FCA Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 2005 before joining Fostering People in 2008 and became a Registered Manager in 2009. He progressed to Director of Operations and then became Managing Director for Fostering People and ACS in 2016, whilst also overseeing Quality Assurance and Safeguarding and Learning and Development across the Community. In 2021 he became Managing Director for FCA, stepping back from his QA responsibilities.

Headshot of Tracy Livesey, Managing Director

Tracy Livesey

Managing Director of ISP, Fosterplus, Orange Grove, Clifford House & Adopters for Adoption

Tracy, a qualified Social Worker for over 25 years, has significant operational experience gained in child protection, assessment work, children and family support, as well as fostering gained in local authority, charity, not-for-profit and independent agency settings. Tracy facilitates growth, stability and positive outcomes for children in care throughout our community.

Headshot of Jess Chadwick, Chief People Officer

Jessica Chadwick

Chief People Officer

Jess is an experienced HR professional with significant experience from both an operational and strategic perspective covering the full range of HR disciplines with a strong background in developing and delivering HR strategy and best-in-class people solutions that drive commercial success.

Headshot of Nichola Thomas, Director of Quality

Nicola Thomas

Director of Quality

Nicola has experience in working across all areas of children’s services and is passionate about improving outcomes for children. Nicola was previously Head of Safeguarding at the Outcomes First Group, prior to that she spent several years focusing on improvement and responsible enforcement of powers in public sector regulatory environments.

Paul Surridge

Business Development Director

Paul has over 17 years of fostering management experience. Paul joined Polaris in 2019 and has a wealth of knowledge and experience especially in the recruitment of new foster families. Prior to Polaris Paul was a vital member of the senior management team for a nationwide independent fostering provider.

Kicha Mitchell Headshot

Kicha Mitchell

Managing Director - Education

Kicha is a highly experienced education leader with over 30 years of expertise, including extensive time spent as a senior figure in the independent special sector. With a background as a qualified teacher with further training in psychology, human resources management and social policy, Kicha has navigated various roles throughout her career, showcasing her adaptability and proficiency across the education sector.  

Our History

Our Community’s roots go all the way back to 1987 when we became the very first independent fostering agency in the country. Since then we have grown, developed and gone from strength to strength.

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Our Services

Each of our providers offers outstanding support and training, with its own unique approach. As a community, we’re able to meet a wide range of needs and make a lifelong difference to children and young people.

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Social Value

The Polaris Community has a combined commitment to measure and maximise our Social Value and impact we have on communities and wider society. Find out more about how we strive to make a difference.

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