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What children and young people living in children’s homes or with foster carers told us was most important to them

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Each year Ofsted asks children and young people, parents, carers, foster carers, adopters, staff and other professionals for their views about children’s social care services.

For the 2015 questionnaires there are two slide presentations and a spreadsheet with the numbers of responses to the questions.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-care-questionnaires-2015-what-children-young-people-and-adults-told-ofsted

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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What children and young people living in children’s homes or with foster carers told us was most important to them

  1. 1. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us This slide deck sets out what children and young people living or visiting children’s homes1 and foster carers2,3 told us. You can find out what adults told us in the accompanying slide deck.
  2. 2. Background  Each year, Ofsted uses online questionnaires to gather views about children’s homes, secure children’s homes, adoption services4 , fostering services5 and residential family centres6,7 .  The questionnaires are for children and young people, parents, staff, social workers and other professionals, such as independent reviewing officers.  These questionnaires ran from 4 February to 9 May 2015 and received responses from 27,715 individuals. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 2
  3. 3. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us How we use the information  We use the responses, along with other information we have, such as previous inspection findings or any concerns, to decide when to inspect and what to focus on when we do.  We share response summaries with providers and local authorities to help them identify areas for improvement8 .  We want the sector to know about the issues that were important to children and adults. So this year, we have published a data release and produced this presentation. 3
  4. 4. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 3,271 children and young people told us what they thought was good about their children’s home or foster carers and what could be better. The five most common themes that emerged were: feeling safe and looked after having staff who put them first feeling like part of a foster family having fun things to do and good food to eat independence, responsibility and having a say. What children and young people feel is important 4
  5. 5. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 5
  6. 6. Feeling safe and looked after
  7. 7. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 7 Most children and young people told us they feel safe inside their home9 Fostering (1,727 responses) 92% 99% 0% All the time All/most the time Never The figure was lower for those in children’s homes… Children’s home (1,471 responses) All the time All/most the time Never 66% 90% 1%
  8. 8. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 8 Children told us they feel less safe outside their home Fostering (1,707 responses) Children’s home (1,453 responses) 60% 91% 1% All the time All/most the time Never 60% 88% 1% All the time All/most the time Never
  9. 9. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us Children feel safe when they can depend on those caring for them 9 I feel safe and staff help me to understand my past and why I am in care. They help me deal with my emotions and behaviour. (16– 17 year-old) I know that they will keep me safe. If I get hurt they will sort it out. (7– 11-year-old)
  10. 10. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us Children don’t feel safe because of other children in their home or because of the local area 10
  11. 11. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 11 Staff don’t always make good decisions about who lives in the home Children and young people are helped most of the time to deal with bullying 52% 74% 8% Staff make good decisions about who comes to live in this home (1,114 responses) All the time All/most the time Never 72% 89% 3% All the time All/most the time Never Children’s home (1,287 responses) Fostering (754 responses) 86% 93% 4% All the time All/most the time Never
  12. 12. Having staff who put them first
  13. 13. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us  Spend time with them, for example at one to one sessions or in activities.  Are caring, supportive and respectful.  Listen and talk to them about their feelings and any problems or worries they have.  Understand why they behave in a certain way and help them to deal with their behaviour or anger. They also say it’s important to have enough staff in the home, including enough male or female staff. Children and young people say that what makes a good member of staff in a children’s home are adults who: 13
  14. 14. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us The impact of staff getting it right 14 Staff look after me and give me support. I feel safe. Now I go to school every day and I have learnt to deal with some of my emotions more. (12– 15-year-old) The thing that is good about the home is that the staff are there for you when you need it and if you need support and you can have a laugh with them (16–17-year-old) The staff always listen! There’s not a member of staff that doesn’t fail to make me smile when I’m at my lowest and they're always there when you need a chat or shoulder to cry on. (16– 17-year-old) If you need to talk to a member of staff then they will talk to you. If you feel sad or scared they will help you feel happy and safe. (12–15-year-old)
  15. 15. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us How can staff help more? 15 For the staff to understand why I do certain things and why I sometimes go missing from home. (12–15-year-old) They could help me manage my behaviour better. (16–17-year-old) …listen and respect my views more often if not always, and try to understand my emotions and routines and be able to regulate the things that get me agitated and upset. (12–15-year-old) They could talk more about are behaviour when we do something wrong to help us understand the situation better. (12–15- year-old)
  16. 16. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us 16 Most children and young people are positive about moving into their children’s home and about the staff Moving to this children’s home was a good thing (1,198 responses) 72% 11% Yes No Staff look after me well (1,478 responses) 75% 94% 1% All the time All/most the time Never
  17. 17. Feeling like part of a foster family
  18. 18. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us It’s important to children and young people that they: are welcomed into the family, feeling safe, loved, supported and respected know that their foster carers are always there for them feel that they are treated like a member of the family are able to talk to their foster carers about any problems they have and being helped to get through difficult times are helped to make good decisions in life. Feeling like part of the foster family is important to children and young people 18
  19. 19. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us …it just feels like I'm living with my family and not someone who just gets paid to look after me. (16–17- year-old) My foster parents helped me to overcome some tough times and teach me to cook, clean, and manage money. (12–15- year-old) When foster carers get it right 19 My foster carers support me with my views and help me get through rough patches… I can talk to my foster carer if I had any troubles or if I was feeling down. My foster carer believes I can do well… my foster carer doesn't judge and makes me feel safe. (12–15-year- old)
  20. 20. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us Children and young people feel well looked after by their foster family and most children feel like part of the family 20 My foster carers look after me well (1,743 responses) I feel like I fit in with my foster family10 (1,354 responses) 93% 99% 0% All the time All/most the time Never 80% 96% 2% All the time All/most the time Never
  21. 21. Having fun things to do and good food to eat
  22. 22. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us  A choice of fun and varied activities and the opportunity to try out new things.  At home this included having access to Wi-Fi, up to date computers and games consoles, a TV, a garden, sensory room.  Outside the home this included going on day trips, being able to join clubs, going swimming, visiting theme parks, going to the cinema and going on holiday.  Making friends and being able to spend time with friends.  Having their own bedroom and a nice bedroom.  Having a pet.  Having a good choice of food that they liked, and plenty of it.  Being able to help themselves to food.  Reliable vehicles so that they can be taken on trips and activities (for children in children’s homes). What children and young people say is fun about being in their children’s home or with their foster carers 22
  23. 23. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us What children and young people enjoy 23 My foster carers take me on holidays and other places…we have lots of fun. (7–11-year- old) I get to do activities I like and I get to spend time with my friends. We have nice food and I get to help with the cooking. (12–15-year-old) Going out, holidays, doing lots of things never been able to do before. (7–11- year-old) I get to bake and go and invite friends when the day is free… They have a dog and a cat which I can play with. Having my own room and feel safe. (12–15-year-old) I now have a healthy diet and I have lots of different types of food. (7–11-year-old)
  24. 24. Independence, responsibility and ‘having a say’
  25. 25. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us  Being able to personalise their bedrooms.  Being treated like a young adult.  Being given opportunities to put their own ideas forward.  Being prepared for when they have to move on and supported to develop helpful skills, for example, cooking, cleaning and managing money.  Being allowed to spend time outside their home and visit friends.  Given choices – for example about meals or activities to take part in.  Being involved in decisions – for example the decoration of their home.  Having pocket money and learning how to budget. What children and young people say helps them to be more independent, provides them with responsibilities and means they can ‘have a say’11 25
  26. 26. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us I am older than the other girls and I can stay out later if I have something special to do. (16– 17-year-old) What gives children and young people a sense of responsibility and independence 26 The staff team are very supportive and help you out with anything you need a hand with e.g. advice, planning things, advocating. (16–17-year-old)My opinions count, staff involve me in making decisions. I feel valued and respected. (16–17- year-old) I learn a lot of things I haven't learnt before like to make my bed, clean my room, learn to be a man, and learn to have respect for adults and peers. (12–15-year-old)
  27. 27. Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us What more gives children and young people a sense of responsibility and independence 27 Would like more guidance about things that adults need to do, particularly with paying bills and for things when out. (under 11 years old) They could improve by giving me more independence as in… teaching me to wear my uniform/home clothes by myself. Also they can improve by organising more meet ups with friends so I can learn to socialise with other people better. (age unknown) Get us more involved in the way the home is run. (16–17-year-old) I would like a job and wish there were more people to help me find one. (16–17- year-old) I would like to go out in the community more often. (18 years or older) Let me have more freedom. I feel they are too over protective. (16–17- year-old)
  28. 28. 28 Most children and young people have a say about their care and are helped with independence skills Staff/my foster carers make changes to my care because of what I say or explain to me why this cannot happen Staff/my foster carers help me to learn about the things I will need when I’m an adult12 Fostering (1,595 responses) Children’s homes (1,400 responses) All the time All/most the time Never All the time All/most the time Never All the time All/most the time Never Fostering (839 responses) Children’s homes (1,156 responses) All the time All/most the time Never 74% 91% 1% 59% 85% 3% 73% 89% 2% 64% 85% 3% Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what children told us
  29. 29. Those in children’s homes were less positive about having a say. Ofsted on the web and on social media www.gov.uk/ofsted https://uk.linkedin.com/company/ofsted @Ofstednews www.slideshare.net/Ofstednews 30
  30. 30. Footnotes Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what adults told us 31 Slide 1 1. 1,509 children and young people told us about their children’s home. 2. 1,770 children and young people told us about their foster carers. 3. Ofsted does not inspect individual foster carers; it inspects the local authorities and agencies that recruit them.
  31. 31. Footnotes Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what adults told us 32 Slide 2 4. In relation to children’s homes and fostering services, the responses from children and about children do not solely relate to children looked after. A significant number of children who are not looked after receive services. For example, children who receive short breaks or are placed under other arrangements. Most users of short breaks are disabled children but non-disabled children in need may also receive short breaks. The breaks usually have two aims: to enable the child to participate in fun, interesting and safe activities and to provide a break for parents. 5. Voluntary adoption agencies and local authority adoption services. 6. Independent fostering agencies and local authority fostering services. 7. Due to a low number of responses to the questionnaires for secure children’s homes and residential family centres, these have not been included in this presentation.
  32. 32. Footnotes Children’s social care questionnaires 2015: what adults told us 33 Slide 3 8. To protect individuals’ anonymity, the summaries only include quantitative data and only where there are 10 or more responses. Slide 7 9. The percentages for all questions in this slide deck do not include the ‘not applicable’ responses or those that didn’t answer the question. Slide 20 10. This does not include children who only visit their foster carers for short breaks. Slide 25 11. This includes children and young people living in or receiving short breaks at a children’s home or living with or receiving short breaks with foster carers. Slide 28 12. This does not include children who visit children’s homes or foster carers for short breaks

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