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Slough Children's Services Trust adoption services rated 'good' by Ofsted

An Ofsted report on Slough Children’s Services Trust (SCST) as a voluntary adoption agency has rated the service as ‘good’, having previously been rated ‘requires improvement’.

The government watchdog, which visited between October 29 and November 2 reported that adopters said they felt welcomed and highly valued from their first contact with the trust.

SCST was praised for providing good quality information about all aspects of adoption and informative preparation courses.

Inspectors also said the trust’s ensured well-considered matches between parents and children were made and that the support provided to children and adoptive families helped them overcome difficulties .

The report, published on Thursday, November 22, highlights the good working relationships between social workers and foster carers which makes sure children get a good start in their adoptive family.

Inspectors also noted that the trust’s virtual school, a team of education specialist not located in a physical school building, who support adoptive parents to provide children with opportunities to explore and to learn from the world.

The trust was criticised for its vetting arrangements for people working for the agency, which Ofsted says are not evidenced as having been in line with regulations and standards in every case.

Not all prospective adopters have provided details of their full employment histories and there are inaccuracies in some record keeping, according to the report.

While all staff files sampled showed that checks with the police had  been carried out and for most staff two written references had been obtained, not all references had been verified.

The service was rated ‘requires improvement’ in April last following an inspection in January.

SCST Chief Executive Lisa Humphreys said: “We are extremely pleased with this report as it shows some of the great results we are achieving for disadvantaged and vulnerable children in Slough.

“It’s particularly good to see that the report has recognised that children under this service flourish — we don’t just want children to be okay, we want them to thrive.

‘I am very proud of the dedication and passion shown by my team, and I’m delighted to see that their enthusiasm for their work and the children they care for was reflected in the report.

“We know we have more work to do, and we would never be complacent about the challenges we still face, but a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted shows how hard this organisation is working to improve the futures young people and families in Slough,’ she added.

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