Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Kensington and Chelsea 'front door' arrangements praised

There has been a continued commitment to sustain and improve the quality of social work practice at the ‘front door’ of Kensington and Chelsea children's services, said Ofsted.

Inspectors found an effective ‘front door’ service within the locality teams which take referrals (initial contacts) and within the MASH.

"Highly experienced senior leaders and managers provide staff with a clear vision and focus to ensure that children and families receive good-quality services," said the report. "Senior leaders know their services well."

Inspectors considered the local authority’s arrangements for children who need help and protection.

They found that cases are progressed in a timely manner, with thresholds well understood and applied effectively, the report said. Decision-making is appropriate and child protection concerns are dealt with swiftly in order to safeguard children. Well-engaged partners based in the MASH provide detailed information to assist decision-making.

The locality social work model is a strength, as children and families receive consistent social work support for as long as required.

Children’s services staff are trained as systemic practitioners. Specialist workers and family therapists based in all teams, have manageable caseloads and a focus on practice development all contribute to a service which delivers purposeful work to children and families.

They highlighted:

- When referrals are the subject of MASH enquiries, most information sharing is prompt and of good quality, leading to effective risk analysis and appropriate decision-making.

- Social workers know their children and families well.

- Written assessments show detailed and clear recording, with strengths, risks and ‘grey areas’ well set out.

- Early help thresholds are well understood and applied.

- Senior managers gather and use performance information well.

However, Ofsted noted recording of section 47 investigations is variable. Some investigations that are recorded as part of a child protection conference report are thorough, with a clear recommendation and manager’s authorisation. Other investigations are recorded as a ist of enquiries made, and it is difficult to see any analysis, recommendation or manager’s view. Ofsted recommends this area of practice is improved.

Furthermore, strategy discussions do not fully involve all relevant partners and the report said this should also be improved.

Finally, the clarity of action plans for children in need and following child protection conferences needs focus, with particular regard to each agency’s accountability and timescales.

"Staff morale in Kensington and Chelsea is high," said the report. "The workforce is stable, and staff enjoy the variety of in-depth work that they can carry out with families. Staff report a good level of supervision and support. Senior managers are visible and accessible and use feedback from social workers to develop services."

"Staff value the emphasis placed on their training and development. For staff who do not want to become managers, this provides another avenue for staff progression and is a valuable retention strategy," the report concluded.

Kensington and Chelsea focused visit

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