Ofsted rate us “outstanding”

We have been rated an “outstanding fostering agency by Ofsted for the third time in a row!

They rated us outstanding in every area of our fostering service.

Overall experiences and progress of
children and young people, taking into
account: “outstanding”


How well children and young people are
helped and protected: “outstanding”


The effectiveness of leaders and managers: “outstanding”


The independent fostering agency provides highly effective services that consistently
exceed the standards of good. The actions of the independent fostering agency
contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children
and young people.

Read Ofsted’s full report about us here.

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is a regulatory government body that inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people such as schools, nurseries, fostering agencies, and children’s services.

We are regularly inspected by Ofsted to make sure we are complying with the regulations and standards met by the governing bodies, and to highlight areas where we are excelling or where we could improve. We have a specially dedicated quality department who make sure we’re not only complying with standards and regulations, but that we’re exceeding them wherever possible.

More about what Ofsted have said…

Click on the titles below to find out more about what Ofsted said about us in our latest report…

Overall judgement
  • Parallel Parents is an “Outstanding” independent fostering agency which effectively meets the complex, individual needs of children and young people. As a result, children and young people make exceptionally good progress and excellent outcomes are achieved.
  • Children and young people are at the heart of this agency’s practice and this is demonstrated throughout the service.
  • The agency’s aim is to maintain a ‘family feel’ where all staff, including the responsible individual, know the foster carers and children well. The foster carers and children spoken with during the inspection and in the response that they had provided to the annual survey clearly confirmed this aim.
  • The agency ensures that matching is as comprehensive as possible. As a result, many children benefit from long-term, stable placements. Agency staff have an excellent understanding of their fostering families, and this provides additional knowledge to inform their placement decisions.
  • Out-of-hours support is provided by the agency staff who provide responsive support. This is highly valued by foster carers.
  • Foster carers were particularly complimentary about the support provided and its impact on the care that they provide.
  • Foster carers all confirmed that there is ‘none of this, us and them’ in the agency, and that ‘we are treated equally and very much part of the team.’
  • A number of foster carers stated that the supervision and support they receive from this agency, was far superior to that of other fostering agencies.
Listening to children
  • Foster carers and staff demonstrate an excellent understanding of children’s individual vulnerabilities and potential risks. They follow detailed safeguarding procedures to promote and support children’s safety and well-being.
  • Where the plan is for children to return to live with their families, this is extremely well planned with high levels of support. Foster carers continue to
    work with children’s parents and all professionals involved throughout the transition period.
  • Children’s views are gathered in relation to their care plans and risk assessments. This enables the foster carers and agency staff to have age-appropriate discussions with children in relation to risks. As a result, children become increasingly safe.
Enriching children's lives
  • Children and young people achieve excellent educational outcomes. Carers are excellent advocates for children and young people, and ensure that the children and young people can access the right support in their educational setting.
  • Many children remain together with their brothers and sisters in placements, providing them with stability.
  • The agency works in partnership with specialist healthcare providers to support their foster carers in providing excellent care to meet the emotional healthcare needs of the children placed with them.
Placement stability
  • A very large majority of children and young people in this service have enjoyed long-term stability within their placement. The agency also has some young people, over eighteen years of age, who have been able to remain with their foster carers.
  • A number of children and young people, including some who had experienced a large number of placements, prior to being placed with the agency’s foster carers, said that they felt secure, well cared for and were much happier with their current carers.
  • External professionals commented that the agency works in partnership with them to promote extremely good outcomes for the children they have placed.
Children's education
  • Children and young people achieve excellent educational outcomes. Carers are excellent advocates for children and young people, and ensure that the children and young people can access the right support in their educational setting.
  • Children achieve excellent educational outcomes. Carers advocate effectively for children, ensuring that children can access the right support in their educational setting.
Children's progress
  • Children feel safe and happy, and develop positive relationships with their foster families. This, in turn, gives them a strong sense of belonging and security. A number of children have stayed with their carers post eighteen under ‘staying put’ arrangements.
Training of foster carers
  • Foster carers feel highly valued and part of the team providing support to children. Training and development opportunities enable foster carers to develop and enhance their skills and knowledge to provide effective support to the children they care for.
  • Children benefit from good and improved health outcomes. Training is provided to Inspection report for independent fostering agency: Parallel Parents 4 foster carers where there are additional healthcare needs, for example assistance with gastro feeding.
  • Behaviour management training has enhanced the foster carers’ knowledge and practice on managing children’s behaviours.
  • Consultation with all those involved with the service is a high priority. Consequently, this is actively promoted and is used to support the development of the agency.
  • Individual risk assessments are detailed and include strategies to manage and reduce risks. Risk assessments are continually reviewed and evaluated to ensure that they remain current and appropriate.
  • Children feel safe and protected. Individual safer, caring family plans alongside strong and effective risk assessments are in place. These are discussed and evaluated on a regular basis with foster carers.
  • The agency is exceptionally well managed and robust quality assurance systems are in place.
  • Allegations and complaints are responded to effectively, with appropriate action being taken and outcomes of investigations used to inform future practice.
  • The agency benefits from strong and inspirational leadership. The registered manager and regional managers know the children and foster carers extremely well, have high aspirations for them and ensure that the welfare of the child is central to the agency’s ethos and practice.
  • Effective monitoring of the agency enables the manager to understand the strengths of the agency and address any shortfalls in a timely manner.
  • The ethos of the agency is such that there is a strong commitment to continuous improvement, which is shared by all staff, foster carers as well as the children and young people.
  • All those involved in the agency are ambitious for the service and continually want to improve and develop.

Call us anytime on 0800 023 4450

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Parallel Parents

Head Office: 2nd Floor Lansdowne House,
85 Buxton Road, Stockport, SK2 6LR

0800 023 4450

Parallel Parents is an independent fostering agency rated "outstanding" by Ofsted. We have over 20 years of experience and more than 200 foster carers looking after children and young people. We are a family run agency and believe that our child-focussed approach makes us really stand out from other agencies.