Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Considerable improvements noted for children in care at Tower Hamlets

Effective action taken by leaders and managers at Tower Hamlets following the August monitoring visit has led to considerable improvements in the quality of social work practice for children in care, Ofsted has said.

Permanence planning for those children who are unable to live safely with their birth parents is being progressed more quickly. All permanence options, including special guardianship orders and adoption, are beginning to be considered simultaneously.

"Children who leave care in Tower Hamlets benefit from advice and support from a stable and highly committed group of personal advisers, social workers and managers, who know them well. Senior managers accept that their ambitious plans to reconfigure the care leavers’ service need to progress more quickly," said the report.

This was the fifth monitoring visit since the local authority was judged inadequate for overall effectiveness in April 2017. Inspectors evaluated the quality of care planning for children in care, in particular the achievement of timely permanence for children who are unable to live with their birth parents. They assessed progress since the visit in August 2018, focusing on areas of practice that required significant improvement.

Inspectors highlighted:

- For those children who become looked after, decision-making is timely.

- The majority of children in care now have an up-to-date assessment. This is a substantial improvement from the previous monitoring visit, when 180 children did not have a current assessment of their needs.

- Management oversight is regular, and inspectors found some good examples of analytical case supervision to ensure that children’s plans progress effectively.

- Performance management has been enhanced with the introduction of ‘practice weeks’.

- Managers and personal advisers work diligently to advocate on behalf of care leavers.

- Personal advisers know young people well and have a good understanding of their individual needs and circumstances.

- Pathway plans are thorough and up to date and directly involve young people.

- Better quality and suitable accommodation for care leavers is being recommissioned.

The report notes that the introduction of a ‘through-care service’, co-located with other professionals for children aged 14 to 25, is intended to ensure that these children achieve well as young adults.
However, the report says that the pace of these changes needs to accelerate.

It also warns that in the last quarter, an increasing number of younger children have entered care in an emergency. In a minority of these cases, young children have remained in harmful situations for too long. Senior and middle managers are aware that they need to do more to sustain progress in protecting neglected children who are at risk of harm.

Further work is needed to ensure that care plans are recorded clearly and that older children in care are involved in compiling their individual plans.

However, the report concludes: "Staff described to inspectors a positive change in the culture within the service. Morale is good and social workers in the children in care service have manageable caseloads. They report that they are well supported, and they have welcomed the tri-weekly morning team meetings that focus on their practice. Bespoke training, commissioned since August, and additional management capacity, have helped to improve the quality of assessments."

Tower Hamlets monitoring visit

Knowledge & Resources

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

Alarming rise in self-generated material online


An alarming rise in the amount of self-generated material where children have been tricked or groomed by sexual predators has been unearthed by the Internet Watch Foundation.

New data shows online content of children being tricked into sexually abusing themselves on camera for predators has more than doubled in the first few months of the [...]

Read Full Story

Number of children placed on child protection plans for CSA has plummeted by 60%


The number of children placed on a child protection plan for Child Sexual Abuse in England and on the child protection register for CSA in Wales has dropped by 60% over the past two decades, according to new research.

The scale and nature of child sexual abuse: Review of evidence by the Centre for expertise [...]

Read Full Story

Ofsted Review: Sexual harassment has been normalised in schools


Around nine in 10 girls spoken to by Ofsted as part of its review into safeguarding in schools said that sexist name calling and being sent unwanted explicit content happened either ‘a lot’ or ‘sometimes’.

The review, which also found that boys share content of nude girls between them like a collection game, found that [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram