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At the direction of the Secretary of State for Education, Ofsted is conducting thematic inspections of a sample of six regional adoption agencies between October and December 2023. This week, we have been selected as one of these six and as part of our inspection, we are sending out the letter below to all of our families. Some of our families have also been randomly selected by Ofsted to be interviewed. We look forward to bringing you the results as soon as we have them.
We are writing to you as someone who has had contact with Family Adoption Links as part of your adoption journey. This may be when you first contacted Family Adoption Links to explore your adoption options, or as someone who has used the regional support that Family Adoption Links provides, for example, the regional training.
Please find below some background information about the inspection.
The thematic inspection taking place is an inspection of the regional partnership arrangement Family Adoption Links. It is not an inspection of the local services that your adoption team provide.
The areas that are part of the regional partnership are;
The regional services that the thematic inspection will cover are;
The thematic inspection will start on the 27 November 2023 and end on 30 November 2023. The Lead Inspector is Dawn Bennett and she is joined by inspectors Louise Copping and Nick Bennison.
Information provided from the Lead Inspector Dawn Bennett is as follows;
Why are Ofsted inspecting this regional adoption agency?
Regional adoption agencies have been developing since 2015. In the national adoption strategy (July 2021) the government undertook to, ‘explore with Ofsted the opportunities to improve the current inspection and regulation arrangements so that there is the right level of scrutiny and reassurance across all key elements of adoption practice, and more accurately reflect the way that services are now delivered.’ At the direction of the Secretary of State for Education, Ofsted will conduct thematic inspections of a sample of six regional adoption agencies between October and December 2023. The inspection of this regional adoption agency is part of this work.
Your views are important to us
As part of the inspection process, inspectors will sample the work of Family Adoption Links. This will include hearing from and speaking to people who have accessed Family Adoption Links services. You will be contacted directly by staff at the regional adoption agency if the inspector has asked to speak to you. Your participation in the inspection is voluntary. You can chose not to speak with inspectors if you prefer. If you do not want to participate, please let staff at the regional adoption agency know.
Everyone is welcome to contact the inspection team to tell us your views about the regional adoption agency and the support that they provide. You can do this by emailing RAAthematicInspection@ofsted.gov.uk. It would be helpful if you could do this by 12 noon on 29 November 2023. Please include Family Adoption Links in the subject line.
Your views about the regional adoption agency are important to us. Although it may not be possible to reply to emails individually, please be assured that all responses will be considered by the inspection team. We are pleased to receive your views but cannot deal with complaints or settle disputes between you and the regional adoption agency. If concerns are raised about the safety or welfare of children, we may have to pass the information we receive to the local authority or the police.
Ofsted uses the information you provide to inspectors to evaluate practice in the regional adoption agency and prepare our report. Ofsted will not share the information gathered with third parties. We will not publish any information in the final report that may identify individuals, including children.
We will securely hold information gathered during this inspection for one year from the date of publication of the final report, following which we will securely dispose of it. You can find more information about how Ofsted uses and manages information, your rights and the standards that you can expect from Ofsted when we collect, hold or use your personal information in our privacy statement.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this email, if you have any questions then you can also contact your local lead.
The Family Adoption Links Team