At Outcomes First Group, we work hard to provide the best education, care and fostering services to children and young people, and our Quality and Compliance team consistently looks to measure and improve our performance.

Our commitment to quality is fundamental to what we do. It lies at the heart of every service we deliver. We appreciate the passion and dedication of our local authority colleagues, and we make sure our own services live up to the highest standards. 

Our Quality and Compliance team plays an active role in driving quality throughout the Outcomes First Group family, monitoring performance and implementing change. Our schools, homes and agencies are inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, the Care Inspectorate Wales, Care Inspectorate Scotland and ESTYN, and our high number of ‘Outstanding’ ratings reflects our relentless quality commitment.

Of course, our high ratings are only part of the story. The bigger picture is revealed by the outcomes for the children, young people and adults themselves, and we’re proud to achieve some of the best in our sector, with 97% in good or outstanding (or equivalent) services. Through our pledge to children and young people, and the promise we make to our own teams, we place our quality commitment front and centre, and we live up to the promises we make.

Our Safeguarding and Quality Committee 

Our Safeguarding and Quality Committee is made up of:

  • Mike Blakey (Outcomes First Group)
  • Tim Loughton MP
  • Baroness Mary Watkins
  • Jenny Whittle

You can find out more about the Committee members on our Meet the Team page.

The Safeguarding and Quality Committee meets quarterly to oversee, monitor, review and report on the quality of services we provide. It also provides assurance to our Board of Directors that robust and effective systems are in place.

The Committee takes a lead in monitoring performance and implementing change by:

  • Highlighting risks and opportunities to improve practice across Outcomes First Group
  • Providing oversight and scrutiny of quality assurance activities, processes and outcomes across all our divisions
  • Supporting the Executive Team in shaping or troubleshooting particular quality or outcome areas
  • Drawing on the experience of individuals from outside Outcomes First Group with relevant expertise if necessary

Our team includes colleagues with social work, local authority, residential and teaching experience. We also have two previous Ofsted inspectors in the team, one covering education and one focusing on social care.

Home and school visits

We are responsible providers of foster care and education, and our Quality and Compliance team oversees monthly visits to all our residential care homes for children and young people. This is in line with the law, which states that providers must arrange independent visits.

The team also undertakes visits to our two residential boarding schools, The Grange and Bramfield, as well as working on large-scale outcomes improvement projects such as our intuitive, real-time digital feedback platform, Youth Voice. This allows our children and young people to express their views on their placement progress in a way that’s comfortable and familiar to them.

Working in partnership with our services, the inspectorates and local authorities, our Group Quality Officers make sure our education, care and fostering services consistently exceed the requirements set out in legislation, national minimum standards and statutory guidance in relation to safeguarding those in our care.

Group Education Support Officer

Our Group Education Support Officer is a point of contact for all colleagues and foster parents who need advice and support for a child or young person in any of our educational and care settings.

They work alongside foster parents, social workers, residential managers, schools and local authority agencies in order to intervene appropriately when supporting the continued learning of our children and young people.

Clinical governance

Guided by research, NICE guidelines and practice evidence, our clinical team continuously supports its clinical work with routine assessments of progress made. Assessments include compiling thorough outcome measure reports on a regular basis. Individual and group interventions are also checked for clinical effectiveness through the use of standardised measures, personal narratives, formal and informal feedback.

This information guides subsequent interventions and clinical practice. Group forums are held regularly, chaired by the Head of Clinical Services, bringing the entire clinical team together to share learnings and support continuing professional development.

Research and development

We’re proud to work with several universities in providing placements for doctoral students studying clinical psychology. This programme is led by our clinical team, which welcomed the first student in 2011.

Ongoing research and development work is being carried out across Outcomes First Group with other local universities, including the offer of placements for various SALT students in completing their required in placement experience.

Inspections

All Outcomes First Group services are inspected by regulators working on behalf of the UK government. These regulatory arrangements vary across the different nations that make up the UK.

England

– Ofsted inspects our care homes, schools and agencies

– The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects our adult homes, usually every two years, although this timeline can vary depending on the previous Ofsted grading awarded

– Services can be judged to be Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good or Outstanding

– We expect all our services to aim for Outstanding, so as to meet the needs and specialist requirements of the people in our care

Scotland

– Education Scotland undertakes inspections of schools in Scotland

– Our fostering services and care homes are inspected by the Care Inspectorate (Scotland)

Wales

– The Care Inspectorate (Wales) inspects our fostering services in Wales, though they dont give judgements for our services

-Estyn inspect our schools in Wales

Northern Ireland

– There is currently no regulator in Northern Ireland

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