Outcomes & the difference we make

Outcomes First Group is wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that each and every person we care for and educate has the best possible experience with us, opportunity to be happy and is prepared for their transition to adulthood.

As the UK’s leading education, care and fostering provider, Outcomes First Group is able to demonstrate a tangible impact of the services we provide to the people we support.

Supporting the local community

We value the importance of sharing our skills and expertise to benefit not only the people we directly care for but also those within the wider communities in which we operate.

We are committed to adding value to our stakeholders outside of the services we provide through initiatives such as;

  • Hosting autism awareness sessions at local mainstream schools to educate teaching staff and Local Authority colleagues as well as parents and carers.
  • Circulating regular help sheets offering advice to parents, carers and Local Authorities on various subjects relating to autism and social emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Running local events such as summer festivals and open days further demonstrating our passion and commitment to integrating with the local community and raising awareness.
  • Supporting neighbouring schools, for example through our sponsorship of Kids Safe packs, which educate and advise children to stay mindful and safe through a range of games and activities.
  • Raising money for various local and national charities throughout the year to benefit those in need.
  • Organising an annual donation of Christmas gifts to local children’s hospitals.
  • Collaborating with local businesses to help to enhance the life experiences of the people that we support.
  • Recognising those who are making a real difference, as well as celebrating the achievements of individuals with autism and social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH).

If you would like to find out more about any of our services please get in touch.

Outcomes First Group Pledge

We pledge to:

  • Keep children, young people and adults safe and care well for them
  • Help children, young people and adults to get a good education (to help them achieve and enjoy their education)
  • Help children, young people and adults to be healthy and enjoy their lives
  • Support children, young people and adults with their future and next adventure

Our Pledge emphasises our minimum expectations for children, young people or adults who are living with one of our foster carers, attending one of our schools, or living in a residential home.

The Pledge is our promise to each and every person in our care. We are focused on making a difference and supporting the delivery of the Pledge.

We have a clear approach to improvement based on four questions:

  1. How can we measure if children, young people or adults are better off?
  2. How can we measure if services are doing well?
  3. How are we doing on these measures?
  4. What do we need to do next?

Clinical Team

Our clinical team work alongside our care and education teams to develop a shared understanding of the skills, resources and practices in place, ensuring that we deliver the highest quality provision and maximise each person’s outcomes. Our evidence informed models are based National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) ensure the effective provision of clinical services throughout the organisation.

Ultimately our aim is to improve the quality and efficiency of evidence based care, allowing us to work towards maximising quality of life in a truly integrated manner. The frameworks ensure that we have a robust understanding of strengths and weaknesses which are then transferred into meaningful educational and residential strategies to achieve the best possible outcomes for every individual in our care.

Outcomes First Group

Safeguarding and child exploitation prevention

Outcomes First Group is perpetually focused on reducing risk of child sexual exploitation. By supporting initiatives such as ‘Stop Exploitation Week’, partnering with organisations including NWG Network, training our internal teams and providing enhanced safeguarding training to our foster carers, we raise awareness of how to spot the signs and signals of exploitation of children.

By teaching colleagues and carers across the group how to observe and stop exploitation of children, as well as what to do in such circumstances, we ensure everyone associated with us is informed to act effectively in safeguarding the vulnerable young people in our care. This commitment further demonstrates how seriously we take this issue and how we are steadfastly committed to working together and tackling CSE.

How we work to meet our Group safeguarding Pledge

A team of quality advisors regularly audit and support Outcomes First Group services to ensure they are meeting our requirement of ensuring every child, young person or adult within our care, education and residential services are receiving at least a ‘good’ standard of provision.

Our safeguarding & quality committee is independently chaired by Tim Loughton, who is the former Children’s Minister, and also includes British Professor of Nursing, Baroness Mary Watkins of Tavistock as well as Jenny Whittle, former Deputy Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education Learning & Development and Mike Blakey, our Group Director of Quality & Compliance.

A national safeguarding adviser also provides expert advice on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults to ensure we always remain collectively compliant and aligned with current national procedures across the group.

‘Every aspect of the school’s work is scrutinised. Governors have a good oversight and know the current strengths of the school and areas of development. As a result, they are able to provide appropriate support and challenge that drive improvement. Governors are ambitious for all pupils.’

 OfstedNovember 2018 (Wenlock School)

Mockingbird Fostering Model

Outcomes First Group in conjunction with The Fostering Network, is delivering the Mockingbird programme, which is an innovative method of foster care using the Mockingbird Family Model. This is an extended family model that provides sleepovers and short breaks, peer support, regular joint planning and training, and social activities.

When improving the lives of thousands of young people, their families and wider communities in which they belong through an unwavering focus on caring and learning, we are always looking to find ways of perfecting our services where we can.

We have sought a different type of foster care approach that we trust will lead to an increased likelihood of carers feeling content in their roles to empower vulnerable young people in society and be at the forefront of a care provider service making positive change.

Based on an innovative approach to foster care first originating from The Mockingbird Society in America in 2004, we apply the therapeutic ‘Mockingbird’ method to further support our foster carers who feel that they need additional help to sufficiently support a child or young person in their care with complex emotional and mental health challenges.

This unique fostering wraparound service is put into effect with an experienced carer placed at the heart of a community within a ‘Hub Home’. This enables them to support up to ten ‘satellite’ fostering families and carers with specialist training, confidential therapy sessions with qualified psychotherapists, emergency respite and mentoring on a round-the-clock availability basis.

Maintaining regular contact with each respective child or young person’s birth family is highly encouraged where possible, with other significant objectives of the model including:

  • Enhanced opportunities for foster children to learn, develop and succeed
  • Maintaining permanence of relationships
  • Wellbeing of the fostering household
  • Recruitment and retention of foster carers

With an emphasis on consistency and maintenance of strong relationships between the experienced carer and the satellite foster families, the Hub Home is on hand to provide both formal and informal support to foster families when they need someone to talk to.

They will also organise social events that work to bring the community together, empowering children and young people in our care with the chance to feel part of a wider supportive family network and to build strong bonds with their carers, thereby leading to increased placement stability and happier looked after children and young people.

Outcomes First Group British Exploring Society

Building incredible futures with the British Exploring Society 

Innovative partnerships help Outcomes First Group to deliver real impact with organisations such as British Exploring Society (BES). By partnering with British Exploring we provide young people with the opportunity to take part in expeditions across the world in order to build on their personal skills, discover more about themselves as people, and equip them to be able to work well in team situations.

This collaboration has seen seventeen young people undertake a 9-day expedition to the Highlands in Scotland, where highly-skilled professionals and outdoor experts guided them on an expedition, which included a variety of tasks for the young people to complete each day.

These tasks involved encouraging young people to work on developing skills in eight key areas, including:

  • Making Decisions that Matter
  • Managing my Feelings
  • The World and Me
  • Confidence
  • People and Me
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Staying on Track

Young people taking part in the British Exploring Society’s programmes and expeditions complete ‘My Compass’, a simple tool which allows young people to reflect on the impact of their experience against their chosen goals and track their progress on each trip. The scheme invites participants to complete a self-assessment, helping them to identify areas for improvement and set targets for achieving their aspirations beyond the nine-day excursion.

Julie Rickard, Family Outreach Worker for Acorn Education & Care Residential in the South West, who accompanied three young people under the care of Acorn Education & Care chosen for the Highlands expedition stated:

Outcomes First Group British Exploring Society 2019 Highlands Expedition

“The whole nine days were fantastically organised. Staff who were at basecamp all the time – Toby and Polly – they couldn’t help enough. At one point, someone lost their sleeping bag, so they went out at night to give them another one. Nothing was too much trouble.”

David Leatherbarrow, Group Chief Executive of Outcomes First Group, said:

“The British Exploring Society’s expeditions encourage our young people to step outside of their comfort zone, and take on situations that may not be as challenging for others as they are for them. Far too often young people that have experienced care miss out on bigger opportunities, but our partnership with British Exploring Society is designed to change this and ensure they can access life-changing and inspirational experiences.”

Following on from the success of the Highlands, young people had the opportunity to embark on a three-week expedition to either the Peruvian Amazon or the Canadian Yukon in 2019. This trip of a life time built on the skills they had already acquired and provided them with new challenges to conquer.

The Amazon explorers trekked deep into the Peruvian jungle and into the Amazon basin. Within their ‘Fires’ (small groups) the young people observed Amazon pink river dolphins, river otters, monkeys, snakes and birds as well as hundreds of mosquitos!

The Canadian Yukon explorers, experiencing the Northern Lights (not just once but twice), the awe-inspiring landscape and outstanding natural beauty outweighed the physically challenging environment.

There’s no Wi-Fi in the jungle or the mountains, but each and every one of our young people found a better connection with both themselves and each other. 2019 is the summer that will stay with them forever!

Our relationship with British Exploring continues with future plans already in progress to take even more young people to extraordinary destinations, both in terms of the places they visit and in their own lives.

Outcomes First Group’s Youth Voice app – caring, listening and responding

To ensure we have the ability to effectively understand whether children and young people using our services are better off, and that our services are meeting their specific needs, we introduced the Youth Voice app in May 2019.

We launched the innovative and interactive digital app to allow our schools, foster carers, Supervising Social Workers (SSW) and those involved in a child’s care the ability to more frequently and more easily determine the views of children and young people in our care.

While monitoring academic performance can be fairly straightforward, Outcomes First Group’s Youth Voice enables children to articulate their feelings around topics relating to our promises made in the Children’s Pledge across four key areas:

  • Keeping you safe and caring well for you
  • Helping you get a good education (achieve and enjoy)
  • Helping you be healthy and enjoy life
  • Supporting your future and your next adventure

Youth Voice empowers children and young people in our care to contribute to discussions regarding important decisions about their future.

The engaging and easy-to-use web tool lets our children and young people use a digital device such as a tablet or smartphone to answer several questions, using an ‘emoji’ response format, to quickly and discretely convey how they are feeling emotionally about a number of aspects surrounding their present situation.

The invaluable real-time feedback received from the Youth Voice digital tool provides a greater understanding of the less visible challenges as well as positive outcomes of a successful placement, whilst enabling us to put the right measures and structures in place to fully support each and every child in our care.

Case Studies

Our care stories help demonstrate the difference Outcomes First Group makes to the lives of children, young people and adults across the UK every single day.

We take a look at Sam and Conrad’s experiences in care within the Outcomes First Group as prime examples of how our care services can inspire children, young people and adults towards the incredible futures that they deserve.

Outcomes First Group SportsConrad

Conrad is also sixteen years old and has secured fantastic marks in no fewer than 11 subjects at his school, including grades of 9 in history, maths, chemistry, physics and English literature, as well as an A in Business Studies and an A* in Systems and Control.

As with Sam, Conrad was also brave enough to step out of his comfort zone and venture to the Scottish Highlands with BES for the expedition which took place in Easter 2019, and is going to at the alternative summer trip with BES to the Peruvian Amazon, where he will be looking to make use of his aptitude in science to explore the wonders of the rainforest.

Conrad is a keen windsurfer, paddle-boarder and PC gamer outside of college surrounds.

“Since finishing my exams I joined a gym and enjoyed time off from studying but I’m back at college now doing maths, further maths, physics and geography. I’m not sure what career I want to follow yet, but I’m interested in engineering and science.”


Sam is sixteen years old and she was neglected as a child. Sam has been in Outcomes First Group care with the same foster carers for nine years. Her attendance at the time of leaving school at the end of Year 11 was over 95%, which helped towards her gaining good GCSE passes in English, maths, double science and RE. Her performance at GCSE level has allowed her to pursue a career as a veterinary nurse, for which she is currently studying towards.

Sam has also been very pro-active outside of her vocation, as she has completed her Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), as well as taking part in the British Exploring Society (BES) expedition to the Scottish Highlands for eight days at Easter, which she followed-up with a far flung trip with BES to the Canadian Yukon this summer.


Sam OFG Group

Reducing the use of restraint in Outcomes First Group Services

OFG_Restraint Reduction Network

We have made a commitment to actively participate in reducing restraint, where possible, across all of our services.

This strengthens our stance as a leading care and education provider striving to set the highest standards.

Our desire to make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of people in our care therefore led to us officially pledge to join the Restraint Reduction Network and support the cause as an organisation.

As a member of the Restraint Reduction Network we have pledged to:

  • Give a clear and transparent commitment to the people who use and work in our services that all our leaders, managers and frontline staff will endeavour to work together to ensure that the use of coercive and restrictive practice is minimised and the misuse and abuse of restraint is prevented.
  • Work together to create restraint-free services to each person we support as much as possible, built on continuous learning and improvement.
  • Develop an annual ‘restraint reduction plan’ which will outline the different organisational approaches we will implement in order to help us achieve the Network’s vision, mission, values and principles so that those people subject to restricted practices are fully protected.

In order to meet these pledges, we have created a network of restraint reduction champions throughout the Group. This allows our champions to lead on the coordination of self-evaluation and the development of a plan to reduce the use of restraint in each of our services.

This means that we are now able to proactively contribute towards developing quality standards for avoiding incidents whereby any vulnerable person in our care are exposed to any behaviour that may be deemed traumatising, particular within therapeutic settings, keeping them as safe and comfortable as possible.