The service provision for vulnerable adolescents in Islington is “strong and robust”, Ofsted has stated in its latest report.
A focused visit of the London Borough of Islington found that “there is a determined focus to improve outcomes for these young people across the council”.
“Senior political leaders, elected members and officers demonstrate a determination to improving services for vulnerable adolescents in Islington,” said the report. “This can be seen in the obvious investment in services, including the exploitation and missing team and the integrated gangs team.”
The report highlighted:
- Thresholds are appropriate and well embedded in practice.
- Child protection and legal applications are used effectively when the level of risk or unmet need requires such a response. Decisions are taken with the right level of confidence and authority.
- Early help services are effective in undertaking preventative work with vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation.
- The vast majority of assessments relating to adolescent vulnerability are completed in a timely way, with clear direction and focus provided by managerial oversight.
- Risks in relation to child sexual exploitation are well understood, leading to effective safety planning.
- The response to children and young people at risk of radicalisation is appropriate, and informed by a clear referral pathway.
- Risks in relation to when young people go missing are well managed.
- The work of the exploitation and missing team is effective as it supports assessment and planning for vulnerable young people.
- The integrated gangs team is highly effective in providing support and interventions to young people at risk of, or involvement in, exploitation through gang activities.
- Social workers have manageable caseloads that enable them to have capacity to build trusting relationships with young people.
Ofsted said plans considered during this visit for children are not universally clear, although all plans did contain appropriate, focused goals based on strong assessment identifying what needs to change. In a small minority of cases, detail of the actions to support the achievement of these goals is variable, particularly in relation to giving clarity as to the timescales required for actions to be completed or for changes to occur.
Furthermore in a small number of return home interviews, there is insufficient analysis of all recorded information to inform case planning and Islington should address this to improve services further.