The Foyer Status Mark quality assures ‘Foyerness’ as a process of transitional support and holistic development. The Foyer Status Mark can be used by any organisation that applies a Foyer-like process to achieve thriving outcomes for young people.
A service can be accredited as a Foyer by applying and benchmarking against the Three Tests of ‘Foyerness’, which are assessed throughout the Foyer Status Mark validation process. These define the FOCUS, the APPROACH, and the RELATIONSHIP that underpin the Foyer process. The Three Tests allow flexibility in how a service shapes and delivers its offer according to local need while, at the same time, emphasising the distinct values and ethos that has been at the heart of the Foyer Accreditation Scheme since 1998. To be awarded the Foyer Status Mark it is essential that:
- The FOCUS meets the development needs and goals of young people in transition
- The APPROACH makes a positive ‘offer’ of integrated skills, resources and opportunities accessible for young people
- The RELATIONSHIP is based on a formal commitment – or deal – between the young person, the service, and the community, which is a condition of continued engagement
The Three Tests are expressed through 12 supporting indicators and assessed against 48 critical evidence areas that measure how far a service can enable young people to move beyond coping lifestyles and achieve the skills and capabilities needed to build a thriving and independent life.
What are the benefits of accreditation?
Built on 12 years of innovative development the accreditation process enables you to assess and develop your services to excellent standards unique to Foyers.
Accreditation has provided a framework for developing our Foyers as well as maintaining a consistently high standard of Foyer provision across the group. The Foyer Status Mark ensures that the brand of ‘Foyer’ is strong, it provides a way to show that we are providing a unique offer which is different to that of standard support services. Our residents, staff and the organisation as a whole are proud of having all of our Foyers accredited to this high standard.
Pete Watts | Head of Housing Services (South) | Salvation Army Housing Association
The Foyer Status Mark has been endorsed by the Department for Communities & Local Government and some Foyers have used it to passport through elements of the Quality Assessment Framework.
Being accredited also helps us with funding applications when local and national funding opportunities present to us. To say we are accredited gives kudos to our applications and funders and commissioners can see that we are assessed as being a quality service by an external body. The process not only validates the support our residents receive, it confirms our approach and direction in terms of our overall contribution to the whole community and how we integrate.
Hayley Mckay | Young People’s Service Manager (Carlise & Eden) | Eden Rural Foyer, Impact Housing Association
Read the full testimonial from Eden Rural Foyer here.
Who do we accredit?
Accreditation enables the Foyer Federation to protect, develop, strengthen and promote the Foyer concept so that young people and the practitioners working in their interests receive what they need to thrive in society today. Accreditation equips the Foyer Federation with important knowledge of the Foyer network’s strengths and the local environments Foyers operate in.
The Foyer Federation has always taken a dynamic approach to quality assurance, adapting it to both external and internal requirements. When we first introduced accreditation in the mid 1990s, the sector as a whole was largely unregulated and our accreditation system was used as a means of determining who could and could not become Foyer Federation members. The development of an accreditation system also had the potential to help individual Foyers secure government contracts and other funding. Indeed, the accreditation system proved critical in developing a national framework agreement for Foyers to offer Government funded educational provision from 2001.
Accreditation is seen as one of the ways of demonstrating how a Foyer is distinctive from other forms of youth housing and support. It would provides a useful framework for the Federation’s work in developing new Foyers and a useful guide for ‘Foyer-like’ projects who wish to join the movement.
What is the process for accreditation?
Although it is not an essential condition of accreditation, you may wish to first consider Foyer Federation membership. The process for accreditation begins with a one day validation visit to your service and you will be required to complete a self-assessment of your service evidencing its Focus, Approach and Relationship, and a data set using the supplied templates and the Foyer Status Mark (FSM) Guide toolkit. We offer a one day consultation designed to help you prepare for the validation visit and self-assessment.
You will be required to submit a fully completed self-assessment and data set 20 days prior to the validation visit and supporting evidence must be accessible for the assessor to view on the day of the validation visit. The self-assessment must encapsulate all the evidence in a narrative form that will warrant the FSM Amber/Building or Green/Thriving award.
”Being able to say what is good and bad about the service we receive at Dove Cott House was really good. I felt that the people who spoke to us from the Foyer Federation listened and some changes have happened already such as better activities for young mums.”
Foyer resident | Dove Cott House
Following the validation visit, the assessor will draft their report and you will be forwarded a copy for your comments. The final validation report will then be assessed by the Quality Council who will either authorise the Foyer Status Mark or request further information that would be required to merit an FSM award. Depending on how well your service has met the criteria and evidenced its Focus, Approach and Relationship, an Amber/Building or Green/Thriving status will be awarded.
The Quality Council
The Quality Council is a scrutiny panel and is representative of the Board of Trustees, the Foyer Federation senior management team, the Foyer network and of young people.
It aims to develop a thriving Foyer network by supporting services to implement and strengthen Foyerness. It meets three times a year to perform the following functions:
- Authorise the Foyer Status Mark reports, written up by assessors who have visited a service
- Request further information from services where appropriate before granting Foyer Status Mark
- Make recommendations to services based on their Foyer Status Mark reports
- Identify common traits or challenges faced by Foyers to monitor ‘Foyerness’ on a national scale
- Support Foyers to understand themselves and their peer services through the framework of a national benchmarking system.