Our main aim is to protect and enhance the lives of the children of Reading. We help families find long-term solutions to ensure children lead happy, healthy and successful lives.

How we're improving services in Reading

On this page, we’re charting our improvement journey. We hope it gives you confidence in the hard work being done to improve the quality of services for children, young people and their families.

Improvement progress

We’ve put the chronology of our improvements in order, with the latest achievements appearing first.

We recognise there is still much work to be done but there is real determination at all levels to continue to make Brighter Futures for Children a success – and to carry on improving the lives of children in Reading.

Young boy in shorts' legs running up colourful steps

Our journey

January 2023: Cressingham children’s home, which provides short breaks for children and young people with additional needs, was given an ‘Outstanding’ rating following a full Ofsted inspection in October 2022. Staff and management were praised for providing highly effective services that contribute to significantly improved outcomes for children and young people who need help, protection and care. You can read the full report and our press release.

November 2022: Reading Family Information Service won the award for Best Community Engagement at the National Association of Family Information Services Coram Family & Childcare Conference.

March 2022: Ofsted published the findings on its inspection of BFfC’s Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) and rated the IFA as ‘Good’ in all three inspection areas. You can read the full report here (and our press release).

March 2022: Ofsted published its report following a focused visit which looked at the arrangements for children in need and children subject to a child protection plan. The main theme of the Ofsted findings was that there had not been sufficient improvement since the last inspection. We welcome feedback from the inspectors and immediately enhanced our continuous improvement plan to ensure those areas which need greater focus and pace are addressed. You can read the full report on the Ofsted website.

November 2021: Reading SEND Local Offer won the award for Best SEND Local Offer at the National Association of Family Information Services Coram Family & Childcare Conference.

August 2021: Ofsted published its findings of a full inspection of our children’s home, Pinecroft, which tool place between 23-24 June 2021. The home was rated ‘Good’ in all areas. You can read the full report here.

July 2021: Ofsted carried out a full inspection of our children’s home, Cressingham, between 20-21 July and awarded it as Outstanding in all areas, including the overall experiences and progress of children and young people. You can read the full report here.

July 2021: Finding of the Ofsted & CQC Local Area SEND inspection were sent to us and showed how much services had improved. You can read the letter here or view it on Ofsted’s website here.

June 2021: Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a local area SEND inspection in Reading, looking at the effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of, and improving outcomes for, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

February 2021: Our continuing improvement journey reached a major milestone when it was officially confirmed that we had been removed from Government intervention.

In a letter to Reading Borough Council Leader Jason Brock, Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, confirmed she was lifting the Government direction with immediate effect.

The letter acknowledged ‘significant improvement’ since Ofsted’s inspection 5 years ago and the ‘hard work and commitment of all involved.”

March 2020: BFfC’s Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) moved out of its ‘Inadequate’ Ofsted status in its first inspection since the company took over the service in March 2019. The IFA was judged as ‘Requires improvement to be good’ in all three inspection areas (https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/readings-fostering-service-no-longer-inadequate/).

February 2020: Cressingham became BFfC’s second children’s home to receive an Outstanding Ofsted judgement (https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/outstanding-rating-for-our-short-breaks-childrens-home/).

October 2019: Reading’s children’s social care service moved out of its ‘Inadequate’ status, just 10 months after BFfC had taken over its operation. Inspectors rated the service as ‘Requires improvement to be good’ in all four judgement areas (https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/readings-childrens-services-no-longer-inadequate/).

August 2019: One of BFfC’s children’s homes, Pinecroft, was judged Outstanding by Ofsted following an unannounced inspection visit (https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/outstanding-rating-for-our-childrens-home/).

December 2018: Brighter Futures for Children was created as an independent, not-for-profit, company wholly owned by the council and took over the provision of education, early help and children’s services in Reading.