Ofsted to inspect private fostering arrangements

Ofsted has been asked by the government to carry out a second round of inspections of local authority private fostering arrangements over the next three years.

The inspections will run until 2013 and the watchdog has launched a consultation on the proposed approach. The framework for the inspections will be published next month.

In 2009, Ofsted’s first report, which covered inspections made in 2007-8, found that a quarter of local authorities were inadequate in identifying and supporting private fostering arrangements.

John Goldup, Ofsted’s social care development director, said: “Private fostering arrangements involve a group of children who can be very vulnerable, and who can often be hidden. It is a real concern that in so many areas the effectiveness of their arrangements for meeting these responsibilities has been found to be inadequate.”

“We hope that re-inspection will identify areas in which improvements have been achieved, will highlight those areas where more needs to be done, and will support an overall improvement in the quality of the service that children who are privately fostered receive.

“We’re very keen to get our approach right, and will welcome the view of everybody involved, most particularly children and young people themselves and their carers.”

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