The county’s fostering service has been given a good rating by Ofsted, with inspectors finding that youngsters believe the care they get is excellent.
An independent inspection of Northamptonshire County Council’s fostering services has found that foster carers in the county feel their views are valued by the authority and foster carers and children feel supported.
Ofsted inspectors visited the council’s fostering service last month and their report highlights that foster carers benefit from a supportive buddy system, they receive effective training, support and supervision from the council, and almost all children and young people say that their foster care is good or excellent.
Inspectors also found that children and young people’s wishes and feelings are taken into account in both their daily care and the operation of the fostering service.
Councillor Catherine Boardman, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It’s wonderful to have independent recognition of the fact that our carers and our foster children are well supported.
“Children’s needs are usually best met within their own family but there will always be occasions where the most appropriate response to a family’s situation is a foster placement.
“It’s crucial that our carers have the right training and support to equip them to deal with the challenges of looking after children and young people who have may experienced disruption and instability in their lives.
“We know there are a lot of people out there, couples and individuals, who have considered fostering but may be daunted. I hope Ofsted’s findings will help to reassure potential foster carers that by coming to us, they’ll have the training and support they need.”
Four years ago, the council’s service was given a satisfactory rating by Ofsted.
The report includes five recommendations for improvement which relate to procedural matters.
Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “We accept the five recommendations, which the report recognises don’t impact directly on the welfare of children and young people.
“I’m particularly pleased to see that improvements introduced as a result of recent management changes are reflected in the inspectors’ comments even though they felt it was too soon for those changes to affect the rating. It confirms that we have correctly identified our previous shortfalls and our response to our recent adoption inspection is having a positive impact on the management of the service.”
The report has been published today on Ofsted’s website at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/SC059262
Anyone who wants to find out more about becoming a foster carer can call the fostering recruitment line on 0300 126 1009 or visit our website www.fosterme.co.uk.