WillisPalmer launches Remote Assessment Service

WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

Read more
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Dudley making progress

Dudley has made progress in improving services for children in need and those on child protection plans since the time of the last inspection, according to Ofsted.

However, in the seventh monitoring visit since the local authority was judged to be inadequate in April 2016, Ofsted said that leaders recognise that there is still more to do to sustain improvements in practice and to further develop consistent practice quality.

"High staff turnover presents challenges, which have started to have an adverse impact on workloads," said the report.

Inspectors reviewed the local authority’s arrangements for children in need and children on child protection plans, including the effectiveness of management oversight and decision-making in this area.

The report highlighted that leaders and senior managers know their service well. Clear strategic plans are in place to further improve services for children and families in Dudley. A new practice model is being phased in across children’s social care and although it is at an early stage of implementation, its positive impact can be seen in developments such as the effectiveness of family group conferences, which are increasingly being used to benefit children and families.

Despite progress made, the local authority is experiencing competitive workforce pressures which could undermine the pace of progress and their ability to sustain improvements in social work practice. While senior managers are doing much to recruit and retain staff, caseloads in case management and assessment teams are too high.

Inspectors highlighted:

- Staff benefit from a comprehensive training offer, which they value.

- Supervision is regular, and staff consistently told inspectors that they value support from their managers.

- The local authority’s audit programme has improved incrementally since the last inspection.

- Thresholds are applied clearly and appropriately to inform decisions about step-up and step-down between children in need, child protection and early help services.

- Most children benefit from effective help, and this is enhanced though multi-agency planning and service provision.

- The adolescent response team offers intensive support to families, and this is addressing relationship and behavioural issues effectively.

- Neglect is recognised in most cases.

- Direct work with children is well embedded.

- Management oversight is variable.

"Too many children experience changes of social workers because of social workers’ high caseloads. This impacts on social workers’ ability to develop meaningful relationships with children and families. It also causes delays in recording in the assessment teams and increases caseload volume, because cases which could be closed remain open while waiting for recording to be completed," the report concluded.

Dudley inspection

Knowledge & Resources

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

More court days for family cases this year despite restrictions

26/11/2020

There have been more court sitting days taking place on family cases this year than in any previous year, despite the lockdown, the president of the family courts division has said.

In his ‘View from the Chambers,’ Andrew McFarlane said this level of activity is necessary as it is not possible to conduct as many cases [...]

Read Full Story

Half of Youth Offending Services require improvement

25/11/2020

Improvements are required in more than half of the Youth Offending Services inspected this year, according to the HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Of the 16 Youth Offending Services inspected, eight required improvement while one, Cardiff, was rated inadequate.

Chief Inspector Justin Russell said: “It is disappointing that the overall quality of the youth offending services we have [...]

Read Full Story

Highest number of children’s homes registered could be in response to COVID

25/11/2020

The highest number of children’s homes were registered by Ofsted between April and August, potentially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ofsted registered 176 new children’s homes between 1 April and 31 August, the highest number recorded in that period. This follows a continued increase in registrations year on year since at least 2015 and a [...]

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