Surrey children's services are introducing a new practice model and service structure, Ofsted has said.
Leaders have planned for these fundamental system changes to be in place by April 2019, the monitoring visit to Surrey local authority children’s services found.
"Overall the effectiveness and timeliness of permanence planning for children who are unable to live with their parents has improved since the inspection, and a range of options, including adoption, placements with extended family members and special guardianship orders, are considered at the same time," said the report following the monitoring visit which evaluated the experiences of children in care.
The report also found that some children’s care plans are specific, with well-crafted actions, aligned with primary objectives to improve their outcomes and achievements, but this is not established practice.
The quality of personal education plans for children in care remains poor and the active involvement of the virtual school is insufficient, it added.
In two of the four local authority area quadrants that were visited by inspectors, most social workers who were spoken to described accessible, regular and supportive management supervision and guidance. However, this is not well evidenced in most children’s electronic case records.
"The effectiveness of management oversight and the standard of social work practice was stronger in one of the two quadrant offices visited. Here, children in care benefit from a comparatively stable management and leadership team and more permanent, longer-serving social workers. Inspectors saw more examples of purposeful direct work with children and frequent and focused management, as well as early, proactive permanence planning," said the report.
"However, overall, and in accordance with the local authority’s own analysis, inspectors found continuing weaknesses and inconsistencies in services for children in care. These included not regularly reassessing changed circumstances and significant events, intermittent and poorly focused case supervision and poorly planned direct work with children," the report concluded.
Applications for unaccompanied children from Ukraine are starting to be processed under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the government has announced.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow children and minors under the age of 18 who have already applied through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to come to the UK without a parent or [...]
Ofsted has launched a consultation on proposals to include a new judgement on the experiences and progress of care leavers in the local authority children’s services (ILACS) inspection framework.
The inspectorate proposes to:
• Introduce a separate new judgement within ILACS: “The experience and progress of care leavers.”
• Review and update the existing evaluation criteria to [...]
The government has announced £150m investment to improve mental health services for those experiencing a mental health crisis outside of A&E.
The funding over the next three years will bolster NHS mental health services, better support people in crisis outside of A&E and enhance patient safety in mental health units, acting on recommendations from Professor [...]