It always feels great when you know you are achieving the things you set out to do. And it feels even better when other people notice that you are too. But as a fostering agency there’s no better feeling than to see it, written in black and white, in your Ofsted report.
So following our Ofsted inspection in October this year, we are delighted to share some of the highlights from the inspection report that shows Family Fostercare Cumbria is definitely on track with our objectives:
1. Keeping the family feel
An essential part of who we are, our aim is to make sure that everyone - children, carers and staff - feels free to speak, listened to, valued, recognised as an individual and supported with respect, care and warmth. Here's how were doing:
They [children] are an integral part of the fostering family and have formed strong, trusting attachments.
Their wishes and feelings directly influence their day-today care. This demonstrates their opinions genuinely matter and are valued, which in turn increases their confidence and self-esteem.
Children really enjoy taking part in a wide range of meaningful activities and trips organised by their carers and the fostering service and strong, positive friendships have been made as a direct result.
Carers are highly valued as an integral part of the professional team working with the child and are actively involved in care planning
A strength of this service is the specialist support provided to carers to reflect on their own feelings and responses...
The supervising social workers are all approachable and provide good support whenever it is needed.
Morale is high....there is a strong sense of shared ownership and accountability [staff].
2. Provide safe fostering households for looked after children:
Our fundamental objective is to keep looked after children safe and happy, living in warm and happy homes where their physical and emotional wellbeing is ensured. Here's how we're doing:
Children are very happy in their current placements... They feel safe and secure, their individual needs are well met and their welfare is safeguarded and promoted.
Carers provide a safe and extremely good standard of accommodation. The children love their bedrooms which are highly personalised.
They all benefit fron highly individualised care which best meets their unique needs and personal preferences. this enables them to reach their full potential.
Children say that they feel very safe in their foster homes and in the wider community.
3. Continue to improve outcomes for children:
We want an end to lower expectations for children who have been in care. Our aim is to ensure that every child fostered with us is supported in every way to develop towards their full potential, no matter where they started from. Here's how we're doing:
100 percent of the children accessing this service are receiving appropriate education that best meets their assessed needs and their attendance is excellent.
All the children are making good progress from their individual starting points. Some children have exceeded educational expectations.
All the children benefit from opportunities to develop age and ability appropriate life skills to prepare them for successful independent living.
All school leavers are on college courses with positive future ambitions.
Many children have successfully returned home, had the security of a special guardianship order, or have been adopted. Others have gained the confidence and skills necessary to move into their own accommodation knowing they will receive ongoing support from their carers.
4. Provide a first class service:
This one is for us (well, we're only human!) We want to go to sleep at night knowing that we've done a good job. We want to go to work in the morning for an agency that we are proud of, that is trusted and respected within our industry to provide a good quality of care for young people, great support for foster carers and a great service for local authorities. Here's how we're doing:
This service is well managed by an experienced and extremely child-focussed individual.
Children particularly benefit from specific therapeutic input to enable them to make sense of their complex histories and to build emotional resilience.
Carers receive very good support, appropriate challenge and on-going and highly relevant training opportunities.
Staff and panel recruitment files are well maintained evidencing a safe and competent workforce.
Quoting a director of children’s services: “The feedback from my social workers is overwhelmingly positive. This service provides good quality care and value for money.”
So congratulations to the staff and foster carers at Family Fostercare Cumbria on the "Good" Ofsted report. We've always known you're doing a great job, and now this report shows that Ofsted think you are too!
If you are considering of fostering or are already an experienced foster carer, and think you would like to be part of an agency like this then please get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.