Ofsted Report | We Are An Ofsted Rated ‘Good’ Agency!
Hi! It’s Ash here, the Registered Manager at Lorimer Fostering. I wanted to let you all know about our experience with our most recent Ofsted Inspection. As you may or may not know, fostering is what’s called a ‘regulated activity’, providing stable, caring homes for children and young people who, for a variety of different reasons, are no longer able to live at home. As such, we are inspected by Ofsted on a regular basis. This helps to ensure that the service provided is as good as those children deserve it to be. I’ll cut straight to the chase and tell you that we received a rating of ‘Good’, in all areas, which we are delighted about! However, I also wanted to briefly explain the process of the inspection for a fostering agency, its staff, carers and young people
Ofsted contact the agency on a Thursday morning, to let us know they will be arriving on the following Monday to start the inspection. Generally, the inspection process lasts for 4 days, and is conducted by two inspectors. As an agency we provide Ofsted with a great deal of information they request on that first Thursday. From this, they decide which carers and young people to ‘track’ through the inspection process. Tracking a case basically means going through all the recordings in detail, and wherever possible, interviewing the foster carers, the young people themselves, and staff (from the agency and the local authority) who have a role in their care.
Ofsted judge a fostering agency under the following headings:
- Overall experiences and progress of children & young people
- How well children & young people are helped and protected
- Effectiveness of leaders and managers
This is a change from previous inspection styles, with a much needed greater emphasis on the experiences of a child in care, and the outcomes achieved for and by them.
As part of this ‘tracking’, other issues and other cases may be followed and scrutinized by Ofsted. They also look at a variety of other matters, such as Team Meetings, how safely staff and foster carers are recruited, complaints and allegations. A lot of the process involves talking to the people concerned, but providing evidence of the work being done with, and for, the children in our care is essential.
I’m delighted to say Ofsted found us to be ‘Good’ in all 3 areas mentioned above! They also provided us with a lot of really positive feedback, and I’ve shared a few snippets below:
“The agency is child-centred and is focused on supporting children and young people to achieve positive outcomes. Children and young people spoke warmly about their carers.” (comment from Ofsted).
“I love everything here. My carers have done so much for me. They have been there when I needed to talk, and they’ve helped me through some tough times.‟ (comment from young person to Ofsted).
“I’m in a much better place now. I am treated as part of the family and things are going well for me, i’m glad I came here. It’s the right place for me to be.‟ (comment from young person to Ofsted).
Similarly, there was a lot of positive feedback from our foster carers:
“The staff are all lovely and friendly and I wouldn’t change to go with any other firm. They’re part of our lives and we are proud to be part of our agency.”
“The agency is totally professional. We feel fully supported in our role, and there is always someone there to help.”
For the Future
I would like to state that without the hardwork and dedication from our staff members and foster carers we would not have achieved this inspection outcome nor would our children and young people achieve such positive outcomes.
Over the next 3 years we strive to improve upon our ‘good’ existing procedures. We will ensure that our carers and young people are always at the heart of our agency and the forefront of our minds when making decisions.
If you would like to be involved in evolving the agency with us and helping to make a difference to the lives of the children and young people by becoming a Foster Carer then please contact us by filling out the details on this page.