How do we find the best services to recommend ?
There are so many different types of fostering services in the UK that it is difficult to know which avenue is best when you are completely new to the fostering world.
We use our fifteen years of knowledge working within the sector to find the best service for you. The first place we start is with the OFSTED reports. These reports give a lot of information about the internal workings of fostering services and how they are performing. Also being within the industry it is possible to ‘read between the lines’ of an OFSTED report. For example, when the report advises there is a lot of movement of staff, this means there is instability within the service that could impact directly on the Foster Carers and could be problematic. We only proceed to recommendations with services who are performing very well in their OFSTED inspections and have either a Good or Outstanding rating and demonstrate that they support both the Foster Carers and the children in placement.
Once we have ascertained the services with the best Ofsted ratings, we will then arrange meetings with them to dig deeper into the workings of the service. We ask questions that may not have been covered in their OFSTED report. Key questions are around their recruitment processes, so we can find out what your journey would look like pre-approval as well as post-approval. We ask how many fostering families Social Workers have to support. This is a key question as this will directly impact your experience as your Social Workers availability is key. They are your key person when you are fostering.
We ask about therapeutic provision and if support workers are available to provide additional support. We also ask about the Foster Carers access to training and the Foster Carer community within the service, will you get a ‘buddy’ once approved ? Are there support groups in your local area that you can access? Are there activity days for birth children and looked after children during half term? Are there informal support groups in the area?
These are just a few of the numerous questions we ask to further vet services to see if they are suitable to recommend to you.
Essentially what we are looking for is excellent support and a good picture of how this will be provided. Your support from your fostering service is absolutely KEY to your success and enjoyment of fostering. Where services do not demonstrate that they provide good support, they do not proceed to our recommended list. However, there are a good number of services that are excellent and through our vetting process we are able to find these services and recommend them to you. Who you choose to foster through makes all the difference in your fostering journey so the recommendation process gives you the best start.
If you would like to ‘vet’ a fostering service you are interested in already and would like some further information on how to do that, you can always call or email us and we are happy to support you to make your decision. We also provide our free recommendation service where we can link you in with the best matched service where you live. For either of these options, you can click the link below and select the relevant option when you make contact with us.