The pace of change and progress at Nottinghamshire since the last inspection has not been sufficient to fully address capacity issues in the care leaving service or to ensure effective transition and support for all young people.
A focused Ofsted inspection on care leavers services found that children who leave care in Nottinghamshire benefit from advice and support from committed personal advisers. They also have access to dedicated achievement advisers to support their engagement with education, employment and training.
“Preparation for leaving care does not start early enough for most children,” the report warned. “A particular consequence of this is poorer outcomes for some young people with more complex needs. Senior leaders have a good understanding of the challenges of the services and have plans ready to address these.”
The inspection found:
However, inspectors warn that high caseloads in both the looked after and care leaving service limit the time and support that can be offered to young people who have high needs. For most children, the transition and planning for adulthood and independence starts too late.
There is no dedicated support available for 16-and 17-year-old children in care who are not accessing education, employment or training to help them return to education or training before leaving care.
Older children in care and care leavers with complex needs, including poor mental health and substance abuse, are not always able to get the help they need, the report adds.
“The local authority has a good awareness of the challenges faced by the service, and its recently refreshed partnership strategy seeks to respond to these challenges,” the report concludes.
A blame culture in social work impacts on risk aversion in the social work profession, some respondents to The Case for Change have warned.
Publishing the Case for Change in June, chair of the independent review of children’s social care Josh MacAlister said: “This Case for Change sets out the urgent need for a new approach [...]
Schools were forced to step in to support vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic for many issues that were previously dealt with by social workers, research has found.
Schools found themselves helping vulnerable families with problems such as mental health problems, domestic abuse and poverty during the pandemic as more families were turning to schools [...]
Children and young people at Oakhill Secure Training Centre are being held in their rooms for 23 hours a day, a joint inspection has found.
Children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms on average since mid-July 2021, the centre’s records show and on some days, this has increased [...]