Ofsted’s inspectors found children’s outcomes have been improved by ‘highly-motivated, child-centred and passionate leaders and managers’ in their latest report on Slough Children’s Services Trust as an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA).
Two inspectors spent 5 days looking at all aspects of its fostering services in December 2016 and published their report this week. Inspectors awarded an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’. The Trust is subject to a separate inspection of its fostering services as it comes under different regulations to that of a local authority and is classified as an IFA.
The highlight for the Trust was that ‘the experiences and progress of, and outcomes of, children and young people’ were rated as ‘Good’.
The report states that ‘children and young people have excellent opportunities to consult with people from all levels of the agency to express their views and make a real difference to how they are cared for.’
‘We are delighted that, in the short space of 14 months since we established the Trust, that Ofsted has found the outcomes for children are good,’ said Nicola Clemo, Chief Executive of the Trust.
Inspectors reported that ‘foster carers feel supported and are committed to the agency’s belief of what a foster carer should offer. They have a positive view of the agency and feel listened to’ and that ‘foster carers recruited by this agency provide caring and nurturing environments that are conducive to meeting the emotional and health care needs of the children living with them’.
‘The judgment demonstrates we are on the trajectory for ‘Good’ in three years’ time. We know what we have to do to improve – such as making sure fostering agreements are on file and that training is clearly documented – but this is a real acknowledgement of the hard work of our foster cares and staff to ensure outcomes for children are good and that they are at the heart of what we do.
‘All of the recommendations are on track for being completed within the timescales set out in the report,’ she added.
Elaine Simpson, Chair of the Trust’s Board, said: ‘This is a very positive step forward. We have worked hard to improve the service we offer and we will continue to assess our performance against Ofsted’s recommendations, listen to and respond to what they say, and aim towards their criteria for ‘Good’, which is where we plan to be.’
The full report can be seen on Ofsted’s website: www.ofsted.gov.uk. The direct link is: