Foundations' Culture Code

Foundations is an impact driven organisation, where everything we do is to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

Our mission is to generate and champion actionable evidence that improves services that support family relationships, because we believe every child should have the foundational relationships they need to thrive in life.

The culture at Foundations is what makes this possible: our shared values, the social purpose and high impact of our work, the opportunity to work with excellent colleagues, the ability to develop skills and experience and our competitive salaries. We want Foundations to be the place you can do the best work of your life.

Accountability, autonomy, and support

People thrive when they are working with great people, when everyone is working together and playing their part. At Foundations, staff have accountability, autonomy, and support. By harnessing the power, ideas, and energy of all of us we are empowered and accountable for delivering excellent work. We support each other to be the best we can be, through strong and effective line management, and through the wider culture at Foundations.

High performance

Foundations has an expectation that everyone is high performing, so we can improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. We achieve this by investing in excellent line managers and having a strong feedback culture that we train everyone in. We also use Objectives and Keys Results (OKRs) to keep us on track. OKRs are set quarterly at an organisation, team and individual level and are a collaborative goal-setting tool used to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. Our approach means that we dedicate organisational energy where it’s needed and are flexible and responsive to changing priorities.


As our expectations are higher than some other employers, we pay in the upper quartile for our sector. Fairness and transparency are at the heart of our pay framework, and we believe that everyone in the same role should be paid the same salary. This reduces pay inequalities that typically emerge in performance-related pay models. Our pay framework is different:

  • Everyone at Foundations is highly paid for their role
  • Pay is not linked to performance, as high performance is expected
  • We don’t negotiate on salaries, including when we are recruiting
  • Our pay framework is simple, fair and equitable
  • Pay progression happens regularly – through cost-of-living increases and regular benchmarking
  • Everyone is paid London salaries, regardless of where they live

Values and Behaviours

People join Foundations because they care about the work we do. Our multi-skilled team is brought together by a shared values and the behaviours we expect to see.

We are transparent in our decisions and actions. We are always clear about the work we’re doing, the quality we expect and the messages we share with our partners. We keep our promises, and we won’t shy away from difficult conversations.

We are rigorous in everything we do, using our expertise and critical thinking to produce high-quality work so that we are a trusted voice.​ We use our time and resources to do things properly and to a high standard.

We are collaborative in our work and our relationships with partners, funders, colleagues and the families and children we serve.​ From working with other funders to make substantial investments in evidence generation, to giving power to people who have lived experience of the services we’re trying to improve, our partnerships make an enormous difference to the impact of our work.

We champion Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. We know that the children and families we serve are affected by disadvantage and discrimination that directly reduces their chances of living in a loving and stable family environment. Understanding how services and interventions work for everyone, and actively seeking out what works for specific groups of people, helps us achieve our mission and vision. And we want a staff team that reflects the diversity of our community, and this means we work hard to be inclusive and accessible, and we are striving to be an anti-racist organisation.

We make an Impact. We start all our work by questioning whether it will have an impact and we continually reflect on whether this bears out. Even when it’s difficult to do so, we will change course if it means our work will be more impactful.

We are ambitious and optimistic about the change Foundations will make to improve family relationships for vulnerable children.

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