Picture the scene:
Twenty anxious team members waiting in the reception of our head office in Stratford. Emotions were high. Were we going to be elated or disappointed? This moment was the culmination of 15 years of Diverse Care’s aspirations, and for some, decades of dedication. All our hopes and dreams were pinned on how well we had showcased the amazing work of our dedicated Foster Parents. Had we demonstrated what we already knew: We are an outstanding independent fostering provider.
The dream was to create a service that restored hope in the minds of children and a belief that their future journey would be fulfilling.
The question is, had we done it?
Then came the reveal.
First up, ‘safeguarding’. “All young people felt safe” and we were doing extra things that “other people just don’t do”.
Next, ‘leadership and management’. The inspector said “you have been on an incredible journey.” We had shown vision, drive and ambition to achieve the best for young people.
Lastly, ‘overall effectiveness’. This was it. The final judgement that would decide. We were told that we were “a transformed service” whose impact was “transforming young people’s lives”.
Everyone held their breath.
As the final judgement was announced, the word “outstanding” was drowned out by everyone’s cheers and tears. We’d done it! Let the celebrations begin.
This validation of all our hard work meant different things to different people. Personal triumphs, team camaraderie, organisational pride.... and to be honest, a huge relief!
Then someone asked the question - “What next?” Where do we go from here? During the time that we were waiting for the written report we considered these questions over and over again, and came to the conclusion that this is not the end - it’s the beginning of a new chapter. This validation will open doors and minds. Our voice can now be heard. This is our chance to reach out to children, adults, policy and decision makers. A real opportunity to spread our philosophy.
We had always believed that one day we could be Outstanding. But don’t take our word for it - click here to read an Ofsted report that we are all incredibly proud of.
Photo credit: pexels
Last modified on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 07:22