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.
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 [...]