News

by Rachel

Heath Farm Awarded Ofsted Outstanding

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Heath Farm has been awarded an Outstanding judgement across all categories in an Ofsted inspection, carried out under the Care Standards Act 2000.

Heath Farm Children’s Services has over 20 years of experience of supporting foster carers and offering specialist, long term placements to children and young people with complex needs and learning difficulties. It received Ofsted Outstanding in overall effectiveness, outcomes for children, quality of service, leadership and management and safeguarding of children and young people.

Caroline Newman, regional services manager for Heath Farm Children’s Services, said: “For so many reasons the children referred to us can no longer live with their families and we find them a home with one of our skilled foster carers, support them with their education, offer high quality therapy and help with any family contact, so that we can achieve the best outcomes possible in life for these children.

“We are delighted that our fostering service provision has been officially recognised by Ofsted as Outstanding. Heath Farm Children’s Services is currently recruiting more specialist foster carers in the Kent area and we would welcome anyone with career experience such as nursing, SEN teaching, the care sector who wants to help get the best for children with complex needs. We offer a robust support package, with access to our network of foster carer buddies, social workers, therapists, education and health professionals, alongside recognised qualifications and professional training. If you would like to speak to us about becoming a foster carer, or switching to us from another organisation, get in touch.”

The Ofsted report said about Heath Farm Children’s Services: “The quality of this service provision is excellent, due to the high calibre of foster carer being recruited and the extensive training and development opportunities on offer for foster carers reflect the complex needs of children and young people in Heath Farm’s care. Well trained, supported and highly efficient agency staff provide excellent support to foster carers at all times.

“Children and young people make exceptional progress from their starting points in foster placements, particularly evident in relation to educational progress and engagement. One set of carers have developed a young person’s confidence and self-esteem to such an extent that they are unrecognisable from the child they were four years ago. Several young people have moved onto university from placements, with others securing college placements and internships.

“Children have security and a real sense of belonging, enabling them to complete their formal education, form and maintain attachments in the local community and develop their independence skills.”

Heath Farm Children’s Services is part of the Acorn Care and Education group, which provides care to just under 2000 foster children, together with 700 children in 16 Special Educational Needs schools and specialised residential care.

Many of the children within the foster care division will also attend Heath Farm School in Charing Heath, for five to 18 year olds with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and associated conditions such as autism and Aspergers.