Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Outstanding report for fostering agency Children First

THE CHILDREN FIRST fostering agency, that covers the Thurrock area, has been boosted with a "Good" report by Ofsted.

The report by the government watchdog praises the agency on a number of key areas.

The report in full states:

The fostering agency provides a good level of care with outstanding features. Children benefit from nurturing homes where they thrive. They individually make excellent progress in relation to their health, education and well-being. They are growing in confidence, independence and maturity which contribute to their increased self-esteem. Placing authorities say that carers are competent and caring and make a great difference in children’s lives.

Meticulous matching of placements means that placement breakdown is rare. In some cases planned temporary placements have been so successful that children have remained long term, preventing them experiencing further disruptive moves and the associated trauma. This provides opportunity for children to grow up in exceptionally stable environments with their siblings, where possible. Where children have complex needs or are placed with carers who are of a different background to them, full consideration is given to how their needs can be well met.

Children are welcomed as part of the family and have opportunities to enjoy new experiences and share good-quality family life. They develop strong bonds with their carers and as a result show increased emotional resilience. Children feel safe and protected by carers who have their best interests at heart. They are secure in the knowledge that carers will support and advocate for them. Carers help them to understand some of the risks they place themselves at; this helps them improve their personal safety.

Agency staff are well trained and work well in partnership with other agencies to ensure children are effectively safeguarded. Staff say: ‘It’s a great environment to work in, as well as a forever improving agency, which is fantastic to be a part of.’

Carers are well supported. They refer to a ‘friendly’ and ‘reliable” agency’ with staff who ‘care about their carers’.

Carers are provided with a wealth of training opportunities, however, the manager has been asked to ensure that the small number of main carers and a significant proportion of second carers who have yet to complete core training do so. The manager has also been asked to ensure that no prospective carers are presented to panel until all suitability checks are in place and that no placements in excess of ‘the usual fostering limit’ occur unless an exemption has been approved. There was no impact for children in respect of either of these requirements.

Carers said “Carers are well supported. They refer to a “friendly” and “reliable” agency with staff “who care about their carers”

Children stated “They like their carers and do lots of fun things”

Staff say “It’s a great environment to work in, as well as a forever improving agency, which is fantastic to be part of’

If you would like to know more about Children First go to


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