Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Determined transformation of children’s services at North Tyneside

There is strong corporate leadership and ambition to improve services for children and their families at North Tyneside, reflected in a determined transformation programme of children’s services.

A focused inspection by Ofsted found senior leaders know the service well, and this is reflected in the local authority’s self-assessment.

“Inspectors found evidence of sound social work practice in the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) and social work assessment teams. Contacts and referrals are progressed in a timely manner. No children were found to be in situations of unassessed or unmanaged risk,” said the report.

Senior managers have been resolute in implementing a newly reconfigured and effective MASH over the last eight months. There is a strong commitment from a wide range of partner agencies and effective integration to the social work assessment teams, ensuring that children are safeguarded. Local authority staff have been effectively engaged with the service developments and value the leadership, support, supervision and training that is provided for them.

The report highlights that since the last Ofsted inspection in March 2017, senior managers and leaders have led an extensive transformation programme. This has seen the establishment of a fully functioning MASH, the very recent implementation of a new fit-for-purpose electronic system, and a whole-system approach to the introduction of a recognised and evidence-based model of practice.

Ofsted highlighted:

  • In the cases audited and in all other work considered, the local authority had acted appropriately to safeguard children and keep them safe.
  • Immediate risk of significant harm is identified effectively and responses are prompt and well-coordinated.
  • Actions for s47 enquiries were clearly identified.
  • Decisions to step down to early help from the MASH are clear, appropriate and seamless, informed by a clear analysis of risks and protective factors.
  • When risks escalate, decisions to step back to children’s social care are appropriate, and effective joint working between services and partner agencies is supported by the early help manager and coordinators.
  • Risks to the most vulnerable young people, such as the risk of exploitation, and to those exposed to domestic abuse and homelessness, are well recognised and responded to, with the provision of appropriate support and services.
  • Child sexual exploitation is identified effectively using the screening tool to evaluate risks.
  • The risks associated with the complexities of domestic abuse, including coercive control, are well understood.
  • Good thorough assessments were seen by inspectors.

“The stable staff group and the small team structure enable management grip of staffing issues and caseloads,” said the report. “Staff are extremely positive about working in North Tyneside and morale is high. They cite the support, supervision, training, clear career progression and the high visibility and approachability of senior managers as contributing to the positive learning culture in the council.”

Ofsted recommends that North Tyneside ensure that the key issues and rationale for decisions arising from designated officer meetings are clear, that support for the alleged perpetrator is identified and that actions have clear timescales for completion.

Fine tuning of the new electronic system is required to introduce consistency of practice across the service.

The authority should also ensure that manager guidance with clear timescales is provided at the outset of an assessment, the report concludes.

Focused visit to North Tyneside

 

Knowledge & Resources

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

Research to examine impact of online communication with children in care during pandemic

08/05/2021

An investigation into how the move to online communication in supporting children in care has affected them has been launched in a research project led by South Tyneside Council in collaboration with Gateshead-based organisation Blue Cabin.

The project, funded by the Department for Education, will examine how family time has been delivered during lockdown, and how [...]

Read Full Story

Child protection enquiries rise by 125% in a decade

07/05/2021

The number of child protection enquiries to local authority children’s services departments has increased by 125% over the last 10 years, a parliamentary research briefing has shown.

Department for Education (DfE) data on local authority social care activity between 31 March 2010 and 2020 showed an increase in activity across a range of measures including the [...]

Read Full Story

Cafcass launches NQSW programme

06/05/2021

A three-year course for newly qualified social workers has been launched by Cafcass and is now open for applications.

Overseen by the Cafcass Social Work Academy, the programme enables NQSWs to develop their practice in a safe environment. Led by expert social workers, the course supports NQSW’s in their journey, enhance their expertise and ensure [...]

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