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Very positive inspection of Midlothian’s fostering service

Thursday February 18th 2016

Midlothian Council’s fostering service has been rated as ‘very good’ and ‘good’ by the independent regulator of social care services, the Care Inspectorate.

The service’s quality of staffing was ‘very good’, according to the inspectors, while its care and support and management and leadership were both ‘good’.

Foster carers praised the support they receive from the team as well as the training and other professional development opportunities available.

Council Leader, Councillor Catherine Johnstone said: “We’re delighted to note the Care Inspectorate recognised that changes in management have had a positive impact on staff morale, empowering this already knowledgeable and experienced group of practitioners to further improve their service.

“I’d like to personally congratulate all our Family Placement team staff for their hard work, commitment and wonderful care.

“They do so much to support our dedicated foster carers and we, as a council, value our fostering staff.”

During the short notice inspection in November 2015, the inspectors held a focus group with carers, visited carers at home and spoke to other stakeholders.

They also, among other activities, reviewed children’s files, procedures and policy documents and observed a fostering panel.

The report concluded that the Family Placement team is committed to further improving its service.

There’s a proactive approach to getting feedback from service users via the participation group, young persons’ focus group, annual survey, training and individual supervision with carers.

The service has also made a concerted effort to improve group support opportunities by, for example, developing a sons and daughters group, co-led by a young person, a men’s group and a ‘young person focus group’.

Team members shared a commitment to identifying the best care for individual children who were carefully matched with foster carers to make sure the placement has the best chance of succeeding.

Cllr Johnstone said: “We’re always looking for more foster carers and we hope this very positive inspection will help spread the message that fostering is a life changing and worthwhile career. Our foster carers are fully supported by our team and there are plenty of opportunities to train and develop as a professional carer. “

For more information on becoming a foster carer visit www.midlothian.gov.uk/fostering. Alternatively, call our team on 0131 270 5678.

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