Ofsted rates fostering agency as outstanding

Compass staff celebrate their outstanding Ofsted result
Compass staff celebrate their outstanding Ofsted result

Compass Children’s Services, which has foster carers in the county, has been rated as outstanding across all areas by Ofsted following an inspection in July.

It is believed to be one of the first agencies in the country to achieve this accolade since Ofsted introduced a new inspection framework in April.

Compass manages the placement of children with compatible foster carers across the East and West Midlands, including Northamptonshire.

As well as being given the highest rating overall, the independent fostering agency was judged outstanding in all six sub-sections, including overall effectiveness, quality of service, safeguarding children and young people, and leadership and management.

Speaking on behalf of the agency, head of business Jill Merrall said: “This is the best result we could have hoped for.

“It’s our first inspection since 2007 when we were also awarded outstanding. But the criteria has been made even more demanding recently and we felt we were guinea pigs for the new protocol.

“We believe we are one of the very first fostering agencies in the country to achieve it.

“We’ve also been asked to provide guidance for other fostering agencies so they can learn from our practices.

“It’s a huge achievement for all our dedicated team members and for all our wonderful foster carers both near and far.

“Our only wish is that we could find more of them.

“We receive hundreds of referrals every week and while we endeavour to place every child, it’s not always easy.

“We’d really like to hear from anyone who thinks fostering would be something they’d enjoy as a worthwhile and rewarding career.”

Compass is keen to find new carers in Northamptonshire and is running a Skills to Foster course for potential foster carers in September.

To find out more about what being a foster carer involves call recruitment officer Sally Deignan on 0800 5668317 or email recruitment@compasschildren.co.uk.

Further information is also available by visiting www.compasschildren.co.uk.