Guidance on how Ofsted inspects adoption support agencies.


Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): adoption support agencies



Our first principle of inspection is to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives. The SCCIF is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework. The evaluation criteria are broadly consistent across the different types of children’s social care services but they reflect the unique nature of each type of service.

The SCCIF means that:

  • we apply the same judgement structure across the range of settings
  • the experiences and progress of children and other service users, wherever they live or receive help, are central to inspections
  • there are key areas of evidence that we usually report on at each inspection

Our approach is further underpinned by the following 3 principles that apply to all social care inspections:

  • to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives
  • to be consistent in our expectations of providers
  • to prioritise our work where improvement is needed most

Published 22 February 2017
Last updated 19 March 2021 + show all updates

  1. Added guidance on inspecting adoption support agencies during COVID-19 restrictions. Updated guidance to reflect the changes to Ofsted’s post-inspection processes and complaints handling (including the timeline) that we introduced in September 2020. Updates to the ‘Frequency of inspection’ section to include a rolling 3-year inspection programme. Minor edits for readability.

  2. First published.