Children’s foster care service in Wolverhampton rated ‘outstanding’

A service that provides emergency, short-term, long-term and parent and children fostering placements has been rated as ‘outstanding’ in a recent Ofsted review.

Progress House Children's Services in Millfields Road, Bilston. Photo: Google
Progress House Children's Services in Millfields Road, Bilston. Photo: Google

Progress House Children’s Services, in Millfields Road, Bilston, was inspected over a period of five days in November – with the results published this week.

The agency, which is a private limited company, was engaged with 39 fostering households providing care to 42 children at the time of the review.

A report compiled by social care inspectors Shazana Jamal and Lydia Isaac stated: “This independent fostering agency provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good.

“The actions of the independent fostering agency contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people.

“Children are cared for by carers who know them incredibly well. They have

excellent relationships with foster carers and benefit from stable, long-term placements, with many children staying with their foster families for years.

“One child told the inspector how, after staying six years with his foster family, he felt a sense of relief knowing he could stay beyond his 18th birthday.

The exceptional nurture and care children receive from their carers means that children feel valued and part of their fostering family.

“Child-centred practice by foster carers and staff is driven by a therapeutic

understanding of children’s needs.

“An excellent wraparound service – which includes therapeutic intervention and family support – ensures that everyone works together creatively to progress through challenging times in children’s lives.

“A child used the word ‘togetherness’ to describe the agency’s values and the word ‘family’ was used by staff and carers to describe how they all see each other,” said the report.

“The agency’s core strength is providing placements for children with complex health needs. Skilled carers provide the very best care for children with significant needs.

“Staff ensure that children have individual and detailed health assessments.

“The registered manager, Tina Bhardwaj, is a strong advocate for children and has ensured that children and carers have bespoke support so that their needs are met to a high standard.

“Carers and staff work collaboratively with schools to ensure that each child’s

educational needs are properly assessed and met.

“The staff and foster carers’ excellent support means that all children are in education and have good attendance.

“The registered manager is passionate, dynamic and inspirational. She is highly

visible and has helped the agency grow and develop.

“There is a culture of high expectations, which runs through the agency and enables managers, staff and foster carers to be aspirational for children,” it added.

“Foster carers are provided with a range of training that equips them with the skills and knowledge to meet the individual needs of the children placed in their care.

“Carers enjoy support groups, social events and other opportunities to meet collectively.

“There is a monthly support group which is attended by the team manager and the in-house therapist where carers can talk about any difficulties and gain advice.

“In addition, there is an out-of-hours service providing an additional layer of support.

“Carers and staff relationships are strong, which helps them to work well together and provide excellent care and support to children.”

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