WillisPalmer launches Children’s Charter to support vulnerable children

Children who have suffered neglect and abuse during lockdown need identifying and providing with support as a matter of urgency as they return to school.

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Children experience drift and delay in achieving permanence in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Not enough children have a timely, well-considered plan for permanence at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole children's services, Ofsted has revealed.
The councils previously serving the boroughs of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have been replaced by one new council known as Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. A new corporate director of children’s services came into post [...]

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Ofsted notes improvement at Sandwell but says pace of change needs to accelerate

Sandwell Children’s Trust is making some progress in improving services for children and young people, Ofsted has said.
When the trust took over the delivery of children’s services on behalf of the local authority in April 2018, services were at a low base. Since then, social work processes and practice guidance have been established, which [...]

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Ofsted notes rapid progress at Croydon

Concerted and dynamic leadership continues to drive rapid progress in the quality of services for children in Croydon, according to Ofsted.
Improvements were evident in almost all areas of practice reviewed during this monitoring visit which was the seventh monitoring visit since the local authority was judged inadequate in September 2017. Progress over the last [...]

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Bedford's approach to permanence praised

Bedford children's services clearly understands the significance and importance of permanence and what it means for children, Ofsted has said.
Inspectors carried out a focused visit of the authority looking at planning and achieving permanence for children, whether by way of adoption, living with family or friends under the terms of a special guardianship order, [...]

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Quality of contacts work at Walsall improves

The quality of work in responding effectively to contacts in Walsall has improved since the last inspection in 2017, which is positive for children and families who receive a timely response to initial identified needs and concerns.

The local authority response to most children at risk of harm or in need of help is appropriate, although, [...]

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Some improvements in care proceedings at Sunderland

Since the last inspection of Sunderland, there have been some improvements in the management of the public law outline and care proceedings, Ofsted has said.

However, the pace of improvement remains too slow. While clear care and legal pathways are now in place, there are continued weaknesses in management oversight and the quality of social work [...]

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Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Are you a foodie or a fitness fanatic? The groups emerging during lockdown


While it is inevitable that most of us have probably endured our fair share of wobbles during lockdown, given the fact we have never experienced anything like this before, people have naturally had to adapt their mindsets to navigate their way through social isolation.

I’ve noticed a number of ‘groups’ emerging.

The fitness fanatics

Walking, jogging, running – [...]

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Blog: Abuse during lockdown


WillisPalmer Chief Executive Mark Willis says all professionals working with children need to be ultra vigilant in looking for signs of abuse as we ease out of lockdown.

Children’s services professionals need to be vigilant for signs of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in young people as children return to primary school following lockdown, the chief [...]

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Drug gangs adapt during COVID-19 to groom new recruits


Drug gangs have adapted to new ways to groom new recruits during COVID-19, a report by the National Youth Agency has warned.

While headline statistics reveal a reduction in gang-activity and exploitation, drug gangs have employed new methods such as online activity to groom new recruits and there are fears for an explosion in gang activity [...]

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