The Foster Parents’ Plan was established in 1937, with the aim of supporting children victims of the Spanish Civil War. The initial idea was of an English war correspondent, who wanted to create "personal ties" between refugee and orphaned children and their benefactors, thus creating one of the very first "child sponsorship" experiments. "Adoptive parents" financially supported the children and maintained contacts with them through the exchange of letters. With the outbreak of the Second World War, the Fpp extended its aids to children from other countries and, at the end of the conflict, looked after thousands of young Europeans in situations of poverty and hardship. The Plan arrived in Italy to stay in 1947 and its first activities were aimed at children who were admitted in institutions and who had suffered serious physical impairments due to the war. In order to be able to deal with the most urgent cases and have a direct contact with the country’s situation, the Fpp initially sought the support of institutions already working in Italy. However, starting from the early 1950s, the Plan began to operate with greater autonomy, also thanks to its proven organizational skills.
Keywords: Child sponsorship, Post-World War II, Voluntary agency