WillisPalmer launches Remote Assessment Service

WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

Read more
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Ofsted praises greater workforce confidence at Reading

Greater workforce confidence has been identified by Ofsted inspectors in a follow-up visit of Reading children’s services.

Skilled, experienced early help practitioners and their managers have a stronger profile and influence in children’s services. This is demonstrated in greater workforce confidence, exemplified through, for example, more rigorous escalations of safeguarding concerns to the children’s single point of access (SPA), said the report of the fourth monitoring visit since the local authority was judged inadequate in June 2016.

“Contact and referrals in the SPA are managed promptly, supported by consistent management oversight. The quality and reliability of threshold decision-making in the SPA have improved considerably, but is not yet entirely consistent. However, the SPA became fully operational only shortly before the monitoring visit,” said the report.

The recently established SPA includes a range of partner agencies, most of which are located together, with others readily available through effective communication arrangements.

This is resulting in a shared understanding and application of threshold decision-making, particularly concerning domestic abuse, which comprises a large percentage of contacts and referrals. Experienced, committed social workers and managers have been recruited to work in the SPA, and the impact is demonstrated in prompt responses to contacts and referrals, and in improved decision-making.

The report found:

  • Most referrals and decisions to proceed to child protection investigations are appropriate and timely.
  • The majority of child protection enquiries are of a good quality and closely reviewed by managers.
  • The quality of single assessments continues to improve, and most are of a competent standard.
  • The children’s improvement plan has been shortened and is rightly focused on key outcomes for children.
  • Morale in the early help services is high.

The report noted that the LSCB has refreshed and developed the impact of partnership engagement and is more aligned with the CSIB, in which the engagement of police and health has significantly improved.

Good progress has been made in the recruitment of permanent third-tier service managers, and significant inroads are being made into the recruitment of more permanent team managers. However, the recruitment of more permanent social workers remains difficult.

Inspection report of Reading


Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

More court days for family cases this year despite restrictions


There have been more court sitting days taking place on family cases this year than in any previous year, despite the lockdown, the president of the family courts division has said.

In his ‘View from the Chambers,’ Andrew McFarlane said this level of activity is necessary as it is not possible to conduct as many cases [...]

Read Full Story

Half of Youth Offending Services require improvement


Improvements are required in more than half of the Youth Offending Services inspected this year, according to the HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Of the 16 Youth Offending Services inspected, eight required improvement while one, Cardiff, was rated inadequate.

Chief Inspector Justin Russell said: “It is disappointing that the overall quality of the youth offending services we have [...]

Read Full Story

Highest number of children’s homes registered could be in response to COVID


The highest number of children’s homes were registered by Ofsted between April and August, potentially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ofsted registered 176 new children’s homes between 1 April and 31 August, the highest number recorded in that period. This follows a continued increase in registrations year on year since at least 2015 and a [...]

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
closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram