The Fostering Company already had a website which they had built themselves on Moonfruit. It had (almost) all the information they needed, but was difficult to keep up to date, difficult to navigate and very uninviting.
The brief this time was to provide a site which would:
- Show the best of them to the world
- Encourage foster parents to register with them
- Have the ability to create a secure area for foster parents and their children (their own and the fostering children)
- Meet Ofsted requirements for publishing information online.
This was actually a very easy site to build, and it’s one of my favourites. The staff at the Fostering Company are just lovely – they’re really committed to doing the best for their children, and they recognised the role that a good website could play in that.
There were a couple of issues, however, the main one being the photos. We all agreed that we didn’t want to use stock photos as they can look a bit, well, plastic, and we all wanted the site to reflect real families from around the North East. We finally settled on using the Fostering Company’s own photos with, of course, permission from the participants.
The second big problem was the forthcoming Ofsted inspection. It was imperative that we had a working website before the inspectors arrived so that they could show they had all of the right documents available online. It was a bit of a rush towards the end, but we managed it with a day to spare – and played a small part in the Fostering Company’s brilliant rating of ‘Outstanding’.