Ofsted rates Slough Children First fostering agency 'Good'

A fostering agency which supports children and young people across Slough has made significant improvements in its latest Ofsted inspection.

The service, run by Slough Children First Limited, received a ‘Good’ rating following a visit in July by the watchdog with inspectors praising the positive relationships between children and foster carers.

The report represents a marked improvement from the agency’s last full inspection in April 2019 when Ofsted rated it ‘Inadequate’ due to ‘widespread failures’ which resulted in poor experiences for children.

Saima Arif took over as the fostering service’s manager following the damning 2019 report and inspectors praised her for having expectations of high quality.

A report, published on August 27, said agency staff feel well supported and are provided with frequent supervision and goal-setting to improve their skills.

Ms Arif said: “We are absolutely delighted with this outcome.

“We knew we had made significant improvements and were desperate for this inspection to take place so we could prove that.

“Moving from inadequate to good within two years has involved a lot of hard work so we are incredibly proud of this achievement as it evidences Slough as a good place to work and to foster.”

Inspectors found that during the pandemic many children continued to attend education and foster carers ‘went the extra mile’ to support their changing needs.

Online dancing and magic events took place during lockdown to continue participation and children and foster carers spoke positively about the virtual events, the report added.

The inspection also found that careful consideration is given when deciding which foster carers to match children with.

The report added children could seek support and guidance from their foster carers and were also familiar with the agency’s supervising social workers meaning they had a number of adults they could approach with any worries.

Agency staff and foster carers demonstrated a good knowledge of understanding the risks to children and receive regular safeguarding training.

The service has been told that to improve it needs to ensure the logs that foster carers provide contain clear information about the child’s day-to-day life.

Slough Children First Limited is now wholly owned by Slough Borough Council.

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