Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Considerable work needed in child protection in Tameside, says Ofsted

There is still considerable work to do to improve the quality of practice delivered to children in need of help and protection at Tameside, Ofsted has found.

While the local authority has taken action to address the previously slow pace of improvement, with some early signs of success, these changes have not yet had a sufficient impact on the service that children receive.

“The local authority has recognised the need to increase the pace of improvement,” said the report highlighting that in September, the roles of director of children’s services and director of adult services were separated leading to a dedicated DCS post. An experienced interim DCS was appointed in October 2017 and since their appointment, the DCS has led work to re-evaluate the current position and accelerate improvement.

The fourth monitoring visit of Tameside since it was judged to be inadequate in December 2016 and which focused on child protection arrangements found that there has been an increase in the number of social work posts. Although this work has created a greater potential for improvement, the impact of this is not yet evident in the quality of social work practice, inspectors found.

Inspectors highlighted that children at risk of harm are identified and immediate action is taken to keep them safe. Strategy discussions take place, and are recorded on children’s files. This is an improvement compared to work seen during the inspection. However, the discussions are usually between social care and police without involving other agencies.

Decisions to undertake child protection investigations are now recorded and action is taken to keep children safe. The quality of this work is hampered by poor analysis and planning, which sometimes prevent investigations from being carried out effectively.

Assessments are completed in a timely way for all children, but there has not been a consistent improvement in the quality of practice. The vast majority of assessments seen by inspectors only focused on the single presenting issue, and had significant gaps in their evaluation of history. As a result, the analysis of risk and the analysis of parenting capacity continues to be weak.

Child in need and child protection plans are now in place for most children, and regular reviews are taking place. But written plans are not child focused enough, and do not have clear outcomes, actions and timescales.

All children’s cases reviewed during the visit showed some improvement in children being seen and spoken to as part of casework. In addition, children’s records seen during this visit showed improvement in the managers’ oversight of casework.

Managers and social workers demonstrate commitment to, and enthusiasm for, their work, and feel more optimistic about progress because of recent developments. Although caseloads remain high in some teams, all have been reduced since the last monitoring visit meaning that workloads are more manageable for many social workers. The permanent workforce is stabilising.

The weaknesses in practice identified by inspectors during this visit are known to the local authority. Since the last monitoring visit in September 2017, the local authority has produced two thematic audit reports that accurately evaluate practice. This included a thematic audit of child protection work, where the findings were similar to those of the inspectors on this monitoring visit.

“This means that the improvement plan is now based on a more accurate understanding of the work required. This provides a sound basis to learn from and for future practice improvement,” the report concludes.

Monitoring visit of Tameside


Knowledge & Resources

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

All children removed from Rainsbrook


All children are to be removed from Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, the Lord Chancellor has announced.

Robert Buckland has confirmed that work is underway to move all children from the privately-run Secure Training Centre amid serious ongoing concerns about safety and performance.

The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: “Six months ago, I demanded that MTC take [...]

Read Full Story

Response to 'Case for Change'


What the children’s services sector said about the independent review into children’s social care.


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services President, Charlotte Ramsden, said: “This review is a once in a generation opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change for the children and young people who need our help and support to thrive. The case [...]

Read Full Story

Children’s social care system likened to Jenga tower held together with Sellotape


Children’s services often intervene with vulnerable families too late, the independent review into children’s social care has stated.

The government’s main focus should be on supporting the resources of families and the wider community to keep children safe as close to a family environment as is possible. While decisive action still needs to be taken [...]

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