North Lincolnshire Council has been praised for its “exceptional” services protecting children from Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
Ofsted said that children at risk of sexual exploitation and children who go missing receive excellent support through coordinated multi-agency arrangements.
“Arrangements for reducing risks for vulnerable children, including those children who go missing and who are at risk of sexual exploitation, are very effective. These are supported by mature well-managed partnerships,” said the inspection report.
“Senior managers regularly scrutinise interventions provided to young people considered as high risk at thorough multi-agency child exploitation (MACE) meetings. Timely and effective responses from the dedicated child sexual exploitation team ensure that support is offered commensurate with the level of need,” the report adds.
It states that the team builds relationships of trust through intensive direct work with young people which is central to its effectiveness in reducing risk. Specialist therapeutic interventions are readily available from commissioned services to complement that support to meet more complex needs.
The inspection of North Lincolnshire concluded that children’s services were outstanding, with only the category for child protection rating as good alongside outstanding judgements for the other services.
Its focus on keeping children and young people at the heart of everything is the “most striking element of this outstanding local authority”, said inspectors.
The report highlights that effective direct work undertaken by a well-trained and stable workforce ensures that children are engaged fully, and this leads to measurably improved outcomes. This is evident across the full range of social work services.
The report highlights:
- Highly effective and principled leadership
- A range of innovative approaches further secure best possible outcomes for children
- Very effective and coordinated partnership working at both a strategic and operational level
- Permanence is achieved for children in North Lincolnshire without delay, underpinned by comprehensive early planning, monitoring and reviewing
- The local authority is hugely ambitious and aspirational for care leavers, and the views of care leavers are central to all developments.
“North Lincolnshire has been outstandingly effective in creating an environment where good social work is flourishing. A sufficient, stable, suitably experienced and skilled workforce is sustained, and social workers are overwhelmingly positive about working for the authority and the support and training they receive. Social workers have manageable caseloads that support highly effective engagement with children and casework of a consistently good quality,” the report concludes.
Mick Gibbs, Director of Children and Community Resilience at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “In North Lincolnshire, we work together with partner agencies – police, health, education and with foster carers, adopters and others to improve outcomes for children: to keep them safe, well and help them reach their potential. We have placed the child at the heart of what we do and listen to their voice. I am pleased with the judgement which reflects positively upon a staff team who are motivated to deliver best practice.”