Staff at a Kent-based fostering organisation are celebrating being awarded the highest possible rating by Ofsted.

Flourish Fostering, an independent fostering organisation, has been graded ‘outstanding’ by ‘Ofsted’, following an inspection carried out between 21st to 25th June 2021. This is particularly impressive given that Flourish launched less than two years ago. The inspection report is testimony to the commitment and dedication demonstrated in providing the very best foster care to all children and young people, and the very best support to its Foster Parents. This puts Flourish Fostering amongst only a handful of fostering providers nationwide to have received the Outstanding grade.

Earmarked for particular praise were the overall experiences and progress of children and young people looked after by Flourish Fostering and the effectiveness of their leaders and managers.

We are especially proud of the following which are extracted from the report:

  • Children and Young People experience thoughtful care which is based on the agency’s therapeutic approach to supporting the children and the foster family.
  • Foster Parents are strong advocates for children. They provide highly effective support to children in terms of their learning and day-to-day living.
  • The child-centred comments from Foster Parents demonstrate the aspirational values of the agency. One foster carer described their role in supporting a child by saying, ‘As a young man who wants to fly, my role is to give him the wings.’
  • Training provided to Foster Parents is innovative and thought-provoking. This includes the use of virtual reality headsets to demonstrate the impact of neglect and abuse through the eyes of a baby and child. This helps Foster Parents to develop an empathic understanding of trauma and how this relates to difficult early childhood experiences. Feedback from both prospective and established foster carers confirms that this approach to training provides a unique perspective and is highly valued.
  • Supervising social workers are highly effective in their work. They are unrelenting in their commitment to advocating for children’s needs, to ensure that known risks are addressed.

The report highlights the meaningful relationships that Flourish has built with its Foster Parents. Registered Manager Karen Heard “We are delighted with this report, which is testament to the teamwork of Flourish Fostering, our Foster Parents and the extraordinary young people they care for. We all work together to achieve the best possible results and I am so proud of everyone involved.”

Managing Director, Dr Mica Douglas at Flourish Fostering said “This is a tremendous report which everyone at Flourish should be extremely proud of. Fostering is an essential service in today’s world, and we believe we do this exceptionally well, with children and young people at the absolute heart of every decision we make.”