Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): independent fostering agencies
Guidance on how Ofsted inspects independent fostering agencies.
Applies to England
This framework sets out Ofsted’s process for inspecting independent fostering agencies.
Our approach is underpinned by the following 3 principles that apply to all social care inspections:
- to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives
- to be consistent in our expectations of providers
- to prioritise our work where improvement is needed most
View the letter of notice that we send to the agency, notifying them of our inspection and setting out practical arrangements.
Last updated 31 March 2023 + show all updates
Minor changes to the evaluation criteria to align, where applicable, with other framework changes on children’s progress, the management of risk, the use of restraint and the need to appoint a registered manager, if the post is vacant, within 26 weeks. Small change to guidance for inspectors on recording evidence in the inspection database.
Minor edits for clarity in the 'Monitoring visit' section and revised text referencing the updated 'Ofsted code of conduct' policy.
Added SCCIF guidance for April 2022: updated with additional guidance for when inspectors discover possible unregistered provision.
Removed guidance on assurance visits, as we are no longer carrying these out.
Guidance on inspecting independent fostering agencies during COVID-19 restrictions. Updated guidance to reflect changes to Ofsted’s post-inspection processes and complaints handling (including the timeline) that we introduced in September 2020. Minor edits for readability.