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

Staff morale improves at Croydon as it continues to improve

Services for children in Croydon continue to improve, Ofsted has said.

Inspectors visited the authority for the fifth monitoring visit since the local authority was judged inadequate in September 2017 and found staff morale is improving, with increasing confidence in the improvement journey under the new leadership.

"A permanent executive director and a permanent director of early help and children’s social care have recently taken up posts in Croydon. They have quickly and accurately evaluated the current quality of practice, and they have identified appropriate priorities for improvement, although it is too soon to gauge the impact," said the report.

"Although very recent, there are signs of an acceleration of pace, with a concerted focus on key priorities," it added.

Inspectors reviewed the progress of children receiving early help services, and those whose cases had been ‘stepped down’ following an assessment that risks had reduced.

The report highlighted:
- The new senior leadership team has brought drive, energy and focus to the improvement journey. Members of this team have quickly analysed and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the service and have developed a coherent set of priorities to improve outcomes for children.

- The recent self-assessment of key issues to be addressed shows an acute awareness of priorities and of the need to accelerate the pace of progress.

- Thresholds across the range of services for children considered during this visit are broadly accurate, with most children receiving a service at the right level of intervention.

- The early help service has undergone a full review, with a reconfigured service launched in November 2018, which is therefore in its infancy.

- Many children whose services have been stepped down within children’s social care have a positive outcome and benefit from the intervention and services offered.

- Social workers are generally positive about working in Croydon and morale is improving.

- Staff consistently refer to reduced caseloads, with most reporting that their caseloads are manageable.

However, the practice for children who return home from care to live with their families is highly variable. Better practice includes well-planned transitions with a comprehensive support package; poorer practice is evident when social workers do not provide prompt support or give sufficient consideration to any remaining risks.

Children do have written plans, but these are not always evaluative or outcome focused and tend to focus on processes rather than the needs of the child.

Not all staff receive regular supervision and despite the improvements, staff turnover remains a challenge, and senior managers continue to focus on recruitment and retention.

"In summary, the local authority is continuing to make progress and the pace of improvement has accelerated recently. Senior leaders are beginning to create a culture with a focus on systemic and strengths-based practice, with the experience of the child at the centre," the report concluded.

Monitoring visit to Croydon local authority 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

26/11/2020

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

25/11/2020

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

25/11/2020

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