For the first time ever, Ofsted has used the findings of its annual survey to highlight the views of children and young people in care homes and foster care placements.
The survey’s analysis, published yesterday (23 November 2015), has been made public in the form of two sets of information: one focusing on what children had to say about their residential care home or foster placement, and the other using information obtained from the version of the questionnaire posed to adults.
Over 28,000 individuals (including 3,271 children and 23,468 adults) responded to the survey, which took place between 4 February and 9 May 2015. The questionnaires were aimed at children and young people and those who work directly with them such as parents, staff, social workers, and other front line professionals such as independent reviewing officers.
The most common and significant subjects discussed in the children survey were:
- Feeling safe and looked after;
- Having staff who put the children in their care first;
- Feeling like part of a foster family;
- Having fun things to do and good food to eat; and
- Independence, responsibility and having a say.
The adult questionnaire, however, emphasised several areas of improvement where children’s social care is involved.
The six main themes for improvement were:
- Communication and influence;
- Environment and facilities in children’s homes;
- Recruitment and retention of staff and recruitment of foster carers and adopters;
- Training for professionals, foster carers and adopters;
- Activities for children and young people; and
- Provision of support for children and young people, foster carers and adopters.
The full analysis of both the children and adults’ surveys are available to download here:What children and young people living in a children's home or with foster carers told us was most important to themWhat adults told us were areas for improvement for children's homes, fostering services and adoption services