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

Social work practice is inconsistent in Coventry

Ofsted has warned that the quality of social work practice remains inconsistent at Coventry children's services.

While there is a concerted focus on achieving permanency for children in care in Coventry, too many children do not have an updated assessment to inform their care plan, and the Public Law Outline (PLO) is not used effectively at the pre-proceedings stage to assess and support children who may be at risk of harm.

"Delays in achieving permanence exist for some children on placement order, and some permanence options, such as special guardianship, are not promoted enough.

Children’s files do not always show how permanence decisions are made. The local authority does not have a system to track and prioritise matching for children placed in long-term fostering arrangements," said the report.

The focused visit which reviewed the local authority’s arrangements for permanence planning and achieving permanence for children in care found that the local authority understands itself well and has responded to the areas for improvement identified at the last inspection relating to permanence. However, the local authority recognises that although recent improvements have been made, more needs to be done. There is strong political support for children in care.

Inspectors highlighted:

- Children in Coventry are benefiting from increasing workforce stability and as a result children develop positive relationships with their social workers, who know them well.

- The vast majority of children are appropriately placed with their carers and have a current and effective permanence plan that has improved their situation and outcomes.

- More children in Coventry are benefiting from careful consideration of alternative care arrangements when they cannot remain with their birth parents.

- Recent practice in achieving early permanence for children is improving.

- There is a sufficient range of placements to support children being placed with their siblings when this is assessed as being in their best interests.

- Coventry invests in, prioritises and understands the value of quality assurance and audit activity.

- There is a comprehensive and well-articulated workforce strategy, a decreasing reliance on agency staff and a strong training offer for staff.

However, too many children do not have an up-to-date, written analytical assessment to inform their care plans. For some children with a plan for adoption, there are delays in family finding.

Some children do not have clear information about their placements through their childhood and beyond and while adoption is routinely considered as a permanence option for children, some children who are harder to place remain subject to placement orders for too long without being successfully matched.

Ofsted recommends that Coventry prioritises the early identification of children who should be considered under the preproceedings stage of the PLO and the early identification of connected persons, carers and foster carers who may be able to offer permanence.

Placement choice for children, with a plan for adoption should be improved and there should be better consideration and promotion of special guardianship.

Tracking arrangements for children on placement orders and those in long-term foster placements need to improve and the consistency in the quality of the recording of supervision and ensuring key documents are on case files needs addressing.

Focused visit to Coventry City Council children’s services

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