Good progress has been made in improving services for looked-after children in Darlington, a monitoring visit has revealed.
In the fifth monitoring visit since the authority was rated inadequate in September 2015, Ofsted inspectors found a more stable workforce, compliance with statutory requirements has been achieved and the IRO service had been strengthened.
“New and improved systems track children’s progress from when they become looked after. Improved focus on permanence by the child’s second review is beginning to reduce drift and delay,” said inspectors. “As a short-term measure, children are now being accommodated appropriately under Section 20.”
The report highlights:
Now that statutory requirements have been complied with, managers need to develop a more robust self-assessment process and improve focus on the quality and consistency of practice. Inspectors found that children’s specific needs and circumstances are not always thoroughly explored during their assessment.
Some assessments lack multi-agency input. Research is not used enough to inform evidence-based analysis about the best plan for the child. This means that care plans are not always focused on the right things or by the right professionals, inspectors warned.
“More emphasis now needs to be placed on ensuring that the impact of their scrutiny results in improved outcomes for children,” the report concluded.
Applications for unaccompanied children from Ukraine are starting to be processed under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the government has announced.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow children and minors under the age of 18 who have already applied through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to come to the UK without a parent or [...]
Ofsted has launched a consultation on proposals to include a new judgement on the experiences and progress of care leavers in the local authority children’s services (ILACS) inspection framework.
The inspectorate proposes to:
• Introduce a separate new judgement within ILACS: “The experience and progress of care leavers.”
• Review and update the existing evaluation criteria to [...]
The government has announced £150m investment to improve mental health services for those experiencing a mental health crisis outside of A&E.
The funding over the next three years will bolster NHS mental health services, better support people in crisis outside of A&E and enhance patient safety in mental health units, acting on recommendations from Professor [...]