We have published the new quality framework for fostering, adoption and adult placement services.

The new framework will help us answer key questions about the difference that care is making to people and the quality and effectiveness of the elements that contribute to those differences.

The framework supports services to evaluate their own performance. It will also be used by our inspectors to provide independent assurance about the quality of care and support. By setting out what we expect to see in high-quality care and support provision, we can also help support improvement. Using the framework in this way will help us develop a shared understanding of what constitutes good care and support. It also supports openness and transparency in the inspection process.

From 2018, on an incremental basis, we have been rolling out a revised methodology for inspecting care and support services. The changes build on approaches we have introduced in the past three years: an emphasis on experiences and outcomes; proportionate approaches in services that perform well; shorter inspection reports; and a focus on supporting improvement in quality.

The revised methodology and quality framework reflect Scotland’s Health and Social Care Standards, which are rights-based, person-led and outcome-focused. The standards are relevant for care delivery, planning, commissioning, and assessment.

Since January 2021 we have consulted and sought feedback about this framework using a variety of ways to engage with providers, people using these services, inspectors and stakeholders. We also engaged with a range of organisations including the Fostering Network, Shared Lives Plus, Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum, (STAF), Adoption UK, Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA)

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have not had the opportunity to test this framework within services, but we will carry out an early review after some inspections have been completed.

You can download the framework here.