A summary of the Ofsted reports of children’s services published during February with links to more detailed articles on each inspection and the full report.
Ofsted finds progress made at Slough
Social work practice is improving at Slough and assessments and plans and reviews are evident in the vast majority of children’s cases, Ofsted found in the fifth monitoring visit since the authority’s children’s services were rated inadequate in February 2016.
However, inspectors identified weaknesses in the effectiveness of management oversight and they said this continues to be an area of practice that requires attention.
Considerable work needed in child protection in Tameside, says Ofsted
There is still considerable work to do to improve the quality of practice delivered to children in need of help and protection at Tameside, Ofsted has found.
While the local authority has taken action to address the previously slow pace of improvement, with some early signs of success, these changes have not yet had a sufficient impact on the service that children receive.
Ofsted: Variable progress seen at Gloucestershire
Variable progress has been noted by Ofsted inspectors during a monitoring visit of Gloucestershire.
The second monitoring visit of the authority since it was judged inadequate in March 2017 found that senior leaders have recently implemented a wide range of improvement frameworks and these have been well supported by significant financial investment and additional resource in children’s services.
However, this investment is too recent to demonstrate improved services and outcomes for children and, overall, the pace of change remains too slow, said the report.
Steady progress at Sunderland, finds Ofsted
Sunderland children’s services is making “steady progress” in improving its services for children and young people, Ofsted has said.
In its sixth monitoring visit since the authority was judged inadequate in June 2015, Ofsted found Together for Children (TfC) which the authority set up to deliver children’s services functions on behalf of the council, including early help, social care and education services for children, was making steady progress in improving services when problems first emerge for children, young people and their families.
Strong focus on achieving permanence for children in Leeds
There is evidence of a strong focus on achieving permanence for children and young people at Leeds, according to Ofsted.
The focused visit to Leeds children’s services found that most children are being cared for in stable family placements that meet their needs.
Ofsted: pace of change at Nottinghamshire is not sufficient
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.
Ofsted: MASH work has improved at Coventry
Steady progress is being made at Coventry, according to Ofsted inspectors.
A focused visit to Coventry Councils children’s services which concentrated on the local authority’s arrangements for contacts and referrals in the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) and thresholds for children in need and child protection, found the quality of work in the MASH has improved since the last inspection.
Barnet is continuing to progress, says Ofsted
Senior leaders and managers are appropriately focused at Barnet to improve and embed good quality social work practice, Ofsted has found.
In a second monitoring visit since the authority was judged inadequate in July 2017, inspectors said the local authority is continuing to progress and consolidate recent improvements to services for children and young people seen during the first monitoring visit.
Worcestershire has made progress but more work required
Worcestershire children’s services continue to require much work to be of a good standard, but progress has been made, Ofsted inspectors have found.
During the third monitoring visit of Worcestershire which focused on the areas of help and protection, inspectors found significant financial investment means that senior leaders are able to implement change, from a very low base, where it is needed.
Leaders recognise that a strong infrastructure needs to be in place to support effective social work practice and while practice overall needs to improve, positive progress is starting to be made, said the report.
Pace of change at South Gloucestershire is “too slow”
The pace of improvement at South Gloucestershire is too slow, Ofsted has warned.
In the second monitoring visit since the authority was rated inadequate in February 2017, inspectors said children in South Gloucestershire continue to experience systemic delays in receiving the help that they need. Risk to children continues not to be consistently identified or addressed by social workers and their managers.
Child-centred support provided to families in Warrington
Warrington children’s services is providing child-centred, focused support to families who are experiencing difficulties, Ofsted has said.
Children in need of help and protection receive a service that is mostly timely, proportionate and keeps them safe, said a focused report by Ofsted.
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 [...]