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'A National Voice' Assessment of Fostering Solutions
“I like Fostering Solutions; I wish they had fostered me whilst I was in Care. They have so much for looked after children and are always trying to improve the service they provide. They are very caring and my overall impression is that they are simply wonderful!” Commented an assessor from ‘A National Voice’ during their recent ‘LILAC’ assessment of Fostering Solutions, North West.
‘A National Voice’ is an organisation run by and for young people who are in care or are leaving care and the ‘LILAC’ assessment is a project run by them, using their expertise and experience of the care system to improve the policy and practices of foster care agencies, such as Fostering Solutions.
The assessment focuses on how children in care and care leavers are involved and consulted and the assessors deliver training on participation and the LILAC Standards of ‘Shared Values’, ‘Style of Leadership’, ‘Structures’, ‘Staff’, ‘Recruitment & Selection’, ‘Care Planning & Review’ and ‘Complaints & Advocacy’.
Using Fostering Solutions’ policies and procedures, LILAC assessors spent three days at Fostering Solutions North West offices, conducting group and individual interviews with twenty two young people, thirty two foster carers and seventeen staff.
Using the responses of the interviewees, together with over a hundred additional questionnaires, the team concluded that Fostering Solutions had “achieved five of the seven LILAC standards; a great achievement”.
The two good practice proposals to achieve all seven standards are being addressed.
The assessors concluded “Fostering Solutions is committed to enhancing the opportunities for children and young people to participate in decision-making and the other processes that affect their lives”, a view endorsed by Foster Carers, foster children and staff who took part in the assessment process.