Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Social work practice at Birmingham has improved, says Ofsted

Teenagers Hanging Out In Urban Environment

The quality of social work practice at Birmingham children’s services has improved since the last inspection, Ofsted has said.

The authority has demonstrated that it has made improvements in the quality of social work practice since the last inspection, however, further work remains to be done to ensure that practice is consistently good and that the best outcomes for all children are achieved on a timely and consistent basis.

“Despite progress already made, senior managers are aware that considerable work needs to be done to ensure that services for children in Birmingham are of a standard at which outcomes for children are consistently good,” said the report. “Improvements include the completion of work to reduce social work caseloads to a manageable level and to stabilise the workforce.”

The monitoring visit to Birmingham children’s services was the second monitoring visit since the local authority was judged inadequate in November 2016. Inspectors reviewed the progress made to services for children who have a disability and who are subject to a children in need plan and, more broadly, children who have a children in need plan and who require social work services.

The report highlighted:

  • Quality assurance of work is supported by a good-quality audit format, and this is helping the local authority to understand its performance and the impact of practice on outcomes for children.
  • The children with a disability service (CWD) moved from education to children’s services which has been positive and helped to ensure a focus on safer practice.
  • Social work practice is now stronger and shows an improvement from the time of the inspection, and children and families are now being regularly visited.
  • Social work caseloads are manageable and social workers in the CWD service have more time to build and establish relationships with the children they work with.
  • In almost all cases, thresholds for children considered to be in need are appropriately applied.

However, further progress is required for assessments and planning to be of a consistently good enough standard and the standard of management oversight, in affirming case direction and the quality of work done, remains too variable.

The quality of case recording, including that of home visits, is not consistently good, the report adds.

While management oversight was evident in all cases seen, the quality of oversight particularly in case supervision remains variable.

There was a lack of effective coordination between agencies in a number of more complex cases seen. This includes non-attendance at children in need meetings, which makes it difficult to update progress, and a failure of school, health and special education needs services to ensure that education is being provided to support the prevention of family breakdown.

“Through its use of its practice evaluation document (audit tool), the local authority has already identified many of the issues outlined in this letter and so was able to effectively evaluate and, where necessary, remedy any deficits. The authority has demonstrated that it has made improvements in the quality of social work practice since the last inspection. Further work remains to be done to ensure that practice is consistently good and that the best outcomes for all children are achieved on a timely and consistent basis,” the report concluded.

Birmingham monitoring assessment

Knowledge & Resources

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

New Deprivation of Liberty court launch for children


A National Deprivation of Liberty Court dealing specifically with applications relating to deprive children of their liberty has been announced by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.

The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the [...]

Read Full Story

Independent review into CSE in Oldham finds child protection procedures were not followed


Some children have been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed, an independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has found.

Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system [...]

Read Full Story

Sixty Second Interview with Chloe Bach


Find out more about our Business Administrator Chloe Bach who has been with WillisPalmer since 2009.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee (oat milk latte)

What 3 things would you put in Room 101?

Migraines, slugs and war

What is your favourite place in the world?

Wherever my family is (but I do love New York)

If you were on death row what [...]

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
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

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