Senior leaders at Herefordshire Council have improved the overall stability of the social care workforce, from a very low base, Ofsted has said.
The focused visit looked at the local authority’s arrangements for receiving referrals about children who may be in need or at risk of significant harm, children transferring to and from early help services, the effectiveness of child protection enquiries and the quality of assessments and interventions for children in need of help and protection.
Senior managers have increased much needed management capacity and reduced overall social work caseloads across the service. This has been achieved very recently and over a relatively short period of time.
"Plans for improvement are appropriately focused on core areas that make the most difference to the lives of children. Senior leaders and managers have a realistic view of the quality of practice, which remains too variable and is not yet good," said the report.
Revised performance management and quality assurance approaches have been in place for only a few months and are starting to show some very early impact. The pace of progress has been hampered by staff turnover and difficulties recruiting to key management positions, such as lead officer for quality assurance.
Management oversight and social work supervision and understanding the experiences of children and families subject to repeat child in need assessments needs attention.
A new government strategy to ensure women and girls are safe everywhere has been launched by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The strategy sets out a clear ambition to increase support for victims and survivors, increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice and to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls in the [...]
Spending on early intervention for services has halved over the last 10 years, charities have warned.
Between 2010 and 2020, local authorities in England reduced spending on early intervention services from £3.6bn to £1.8bn, analysis of council budgets by a group of leading children’s charities has revealed.
The most deprived local authorities in the UK reduced early [...]
Cafcass has introduced some revised arrangements for managing unsustainable caseloads.
The process has been implemented in the Cafcass areas covering Birmingham, the Black Country, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire family courts due to unsustainable pressures on the family justice system in the area.
Cafcass Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto said: “I have said publicly before that any [...]