Priory’s fostering services which operates throughout the West Midlands has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, the independent watchdog. The service helps find long or short-term placements, and currently looks after 65 children and young people.
- Young people “flourish” and feel valued, official report says
- Majority make “outstanding” progress
- Recruitment of foster carers is “strategic and well-researched”
- Satisfaction and motivation of staff is “high”
Inspectors said the majority of young people were making “significant” progress and achieving “outstanding” personal outcomes.
“This is particularly impressive as some of the young people who are now settled have previously experienced a high number of placement breakdowns and changes,” their report says.
Inspectors added: “Young people are listened to, are safe and form fulfilling long-term relationships. They flourish. They develop a strong sense of identity and are active participants in community-based clubs such as cubs, dance, sea cadets and swimming.”
“The majority of young people have outstanding school attendance and personal educational outcomes. Young people feel valued because their opinions are acted upon and their ideas celebrated.”
The report goes on to praise the fostering service, for the relationships it has built with its foster carers.
“All foster carers speak highly of the managers and staff team who provide reassuring and practical support. Some, who have moved from other agencies, state the only reason they remain fostering, and have sustained their long-term placements, is because of the ‘compassionate insight’ and ‘significant input’ that has been afforded to them and their families.”
Ofsted said foster carers enjoyed being with young people, and the management team was proactively involved in every aspect of the care.
“A foster carer commented ‘They are the best agency for support. Other agencies are not a patch on them. They facilitate solutions. Everything is dealt with quickly and fairly'.”
Inspectors said there had been some “exceptional outcomes” for children whose future success was enhanced by their increased achievements. “They successfully progress and surpass personal goals and aspirations.”
Tony Brooks, head of Priory Fostering, said: “We are delighted with this report, which is testament to the teamwork of Priory Fostering Services, our foster carers and the extraordinary young people they care for. We all work together to achieve the best possible results and I am proud of everyone.”
“It is a privilege to work with children and young people, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure they have exceptional and fulfilling lives.”
Mark Underwood, CEO of Children and Education Services at Priory Group, said: “This is a terrific report and one in which everyone involved should be proud. Fostering is an essential service in today’s world, and we believe we do this exceptionally well, with children at the absolute heart of every decision that is made.”
Recently the Priory Group was given the contract to run Birmingham City Council’s five children’s homes for the next decade. The contract will see Priory provide up to 30 places for looked after children across the five homes, as well as run services for other children in council care. The Priory already has an innovative tie-in with Birmingham Children’s Hospital to improve mental health services for the under 25's in the city. The contract, which begins in April, is worth up to £40 million over the ten years.
For more details on Priory Education and Children's Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or click here to make an enquiry.