How Ofsted inspects children’s social care

  • Gov Legislation
  • Author:UK Government
  • Published:March 2017 (Last updated)
  • Country: United Kingdom

Guidance on how Ofsted inspects children’s social care

Information for local authority services, adoption and fostering agencies, residential centres and other children’s social care services.

Published by: Ofsted
Published on 3 December 2014, Last updated on 31 March 201

Ofsted registers and inspects some types of social care services; other types are inspected but do not have to register with Ofsted.

The two groups are listed below. The links go to the relevant inspection guidance including the inspection framework/handbook.

Social care services that Ofsted registers and inspects:

  • Adoption support agencies.
  • Children’s homes.
  • Secure children’s homes.
  • Independent fostering agencies.
  • Residential family centres.
  • Residential holiday schemes for disabled children.
  • Voluntary adoption agencies.

Social care services that Ofsted inspects

  • Boarding schools and residential special schools.
  • Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.
  • Further education colleges.
  • Local authority children’s service.
  • Secure training centres.

During the inspection

Inspectors will carry out tasks depending on the service. Tasks usually include:

  • discussions with children and young people.
  • observing staff.
  • talking to staff and, where possible, parents, guardians, advocates and other professionals.
  • checking premises and equipment to make sure they are safe.
  • reading files.
  • checking records, procedures and other documents.
Fostering Ofsted Ofsted inspect Ofsted inspects children's social care Social Care