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North Lincolnshire further strengthens practice at front door

North Lincolnshire children's services has strengthened practice further at the front door since the last inspection in 2017.

Ofsted rated North Lincolnshire good in help and protection and outstanding overall in the previous inspection but the local authority has introduced additional management capacity which is facilitating clear, consistently robust and timely decisions throughout the initial stages of a family’s involvement with children’s services.

"Thresholds are well understood, and children and families receive support in accordance with their needs at the earliest opportunity. Performance is managed effectively, and a clear quality assurance framework enables a good focus on the quality of the work rather than a focus solely on process and timescales," said the report.

The focused visit looked at the local authority’s arrangements for the front door.
Inspectors highlighted:

- Performance is managed effectively so that families receive a service that is timely and in accordance with their needs.

- There is consistently strong decision-making throughout the early stages of a family’s involvement with children’s services.

- Issues of consent and thresholds are well understood.

- Low- and medium-risk domestic abuse referrals receive appropriate oversight to ensure that risk assessment and response are robust.

- Children who require a statutory intervention are escalated appropriately to IMAP for further checks and consideration of assessment without delay.

- Children’s services assessments, including S47 investigations are detailed and completed in a timescale that is right for the child.

- Decisions made to accommodate children are in accordance with their need and presenting risk.

- Staff turnover is low and currently all staff are in permanent positions, the majority having over three years’ experience.

Ofsted recommends that to further improve social work practice, North Lincolnshire should improve the quality of information shared by partner agencies at strategy discussions and ensure the recording of personal supervision for case holding social workers.

Focused visit to North Lincolnshire local authority children’s services

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