I don’t know how you all will take the news of Adoption UK’s Ofsted registration. Will you all shrug in a nonchalant way, and continue on your day as normal? Will you feel mildly puzzled and assume that Adoption UK has always been an Ofsted registered agency? Will you welcome it thinking that this will mean that Adoption UK can offer support to the adoption community? Or will you think a million other things as you go about your lives?

I wanted to share with you my feelings about our Ofsted registration and outline how I think this means that we can extend our support out to the adoption community with this new mandate.

We have 3 buzz words that describe our activities here at Adoption UK: Connect, Influence and Support. These three words locate the heart and centre of Adoption UK. We exist to CONNECT the adoption community – we bring that connection out in our forum, in our website, in our magazine, in our digital presence, in our community groups, in our membership activities and in our WOW events. Hopefully you have been able to access all of these methods to connect with your community and share your strength, wisdom and friendship that way. We exist to INFLUENCE the structures and systems that surround the adoption community. We achieve this by lobbying governments in the four nations of the UK. We achieve this by responding to the press understanding of adoption and shaping the adoption narratives in the public. And we address this by hosting Adopter Voice so that the agencies tasked with administering adoption systems where you live. We also exist to SUPPORT all members of the adoption community and we believe that services for adoptive families to access allows us to achieve support.

Our Ofsted registration permits us to extend this level of support. We are able to develop our offer on Peer Support Services, to extend the learning of our Yorkshire and Humber Peer Services and offer expert, peer support to as many adoptive families as we can, whether they are prospective, approved or in need of adoption support. We have high hopes for our Peer Support Services and they are producing amazing results at the moment, and we will look forward to telling you more about them as the months roll on.

Our Ofsted registration permits us to build our training service. We are proud to offer high quality training, based on the needs our community tells us are most important and we are equally proud of our high calibre trainers. They are experts as trainers, deeply familiar with a broad range of subjects and also, they have earnt their stripes as adopters in their own rights. It is this combination of professional and peer expertise that makes us so thrilled to offer our training services.

Our Ofsted registration also permits us launch our TESSA programme in England and join our colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. TESSA is a combined programme offering professional psychological consultation, blended reflective groups for parentings and peer support from our Parent Partners. We are aching to get going with TESSA in our starting partner regions, Adoption West and Together4Children. We are also hoping that we will be able to bring TESSA to your home region soon too.

So, now you’ve read this, I hope you will join me in welcoming this exciting Ofsted development and the opportunities it brings. I also hope that you will be here to remind me of this optimism, energy and enthusiasm when we are going through the inspections.