Fostering and adoption teams in Sunderland praised by eduation watchdogs

Martin Birch and Kathryn McCabe pictured with members of the Together for Children fostering and adoption teams.
Martin Birch and Kathryn McCabe pictured with members of the Together for Children fostering and adoption teams.

Sunderland fostering and adoption teams are celebrating Ofsted success.

Two agencies, managed by Together for Children, were both rated good in two seperate inspections by the watchdogs.

These inspection results are testimony to the hard work of all involved to ensure that children develop and thrive

Kathryn McCabe

Together for Children, which provides children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council, manages the independent fostering agency and a voluntary adoption agency.

Both were inspected during September with Ofsted praising the quality of work to support children and young people and they even rated the leadership of the adoption agency as outstanding.

The Ofsted report for fostering highlighted that the children are in stable placements with foster carers who are committed to providing nurturing and effective care.

They said the youngsters attend and achieve in education and their healthcare needs are met.

Ofsted said foster carers are making use of the increased support groups, are supervised regularly and feel well supported by the agency.

The watchdogs found the adoption agency recruits, assesses, prepares and trains prospective adopters well, so they are well equipped to parent the children and provide them with stable and nurturing homes.

They found the agency’s provision of adoption support, both for children before their adoption and for them and their families after adoption, is excellent and the leadership of the agency is innovative and inspirational.

Coun Louise Farthing, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services in Sunderland, said: “As Ofsted has said, these are very good reports. Earlier this year, Ofsted recognised significant progress and improvements in our city’s children services.

“These reports are an example of that progress and the council and its partners are all committed to continuing this good work.”

Martin Birch, Director of Children’s Social Care at Together for Children, said: “Our fostering team is currently working with and supporting more than 350 children, cared for by 279 fostering households.

“This inspection result recognises the good standards of care provided by our teams and foster carers.

“The report also acknowledges plans to make further improvements.”

Kathryn McCabe, Together for Children’s lead manager for fostering and adoption, said: “Our teams link with a range of partners and of course children’s social workers and these inspection results are testimony to the hard work of all involved to ensure that children develop and thrive in their adoptive families.

“We hold a number of family fun days, a regular Crafty Kidz arts and crafts session and a youth group for older adopted children. These activities add an additional and informal support forum to adoptive families and it is really pleasing that Ofsted commended them.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about fostering or adoption can visit www.togetherforchildren.org.uk/families or email enquiries@togetherforchildren.org.uk.