6. Legal context
Independent fostering agencies inspections and the law.
Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, Ofsted carries out its work in ways that encourage the services it inspects and regulates to:
- be user-focused
- be efficient and effective in the use of resources
Section 5(1A) of the Care Standards Act 2000 provides that HMCI is the registration authority for independent fostering agencies and other establishments and agencies to which part 2 of that Act applies.
The Care Standards Act 2000 sets out Ofsted’s powers to register and inspect independent fostering agencies and, where necessary, enforce compliance with the Act and the relevant regulations. Section 4 of the Act defines an independent fostering agency.
When inspecting independent fostering agencies, Ofsted takes into consideration the knowledge and understanding gained from previous inspections and to
- the Care Standards Act 2000
- the Fostering services (England) regulations 2011
- the Care Standards Act (registration)(England) regulations 2010
- Fostering services national minimum standards
- the Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations, volume 4: fostering services (referred to as statutory guidance)