Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Sustained progress at Sunderland, says Ofsted

Ofsted has highlighted “sustained progress” at a children’s services department taken over by a mutual earlier this year.

After Sunderland Council’s children’s services department was judged inadequate in June 2015, it set up Together for Children to deliver children’s services functions on behalf of the council, including early help, social care and education services for children.

In the fifth monitoring visit since Sunderland Council was judged inadequate, Ofsted noted “evidence of progress in many areas, including the timeliness of decision-making on contacts and referrals, improved management oversight and better staff stability in some teams”.

The integrated contact and referral team (ICRT) provides a timely and effective response to contacts through effective information sharing, clearly recorded decision-making and management oversight. This results in swift referrals for assessment and appropriate signposting to early help services.

Ofsted highlighted:

  • In the most recent assessments, the quality of work is clearly improving.
  • Statutory visits are timely.
  • Staff receive supervision on a regular basis. Case discussion is, in the main, detailed.
  • The ‘Missing, sexually exploited and trafficked’ intelligence group provides good oversight and enhances local responses to children at risk of sexual exploitation.
  • Comprehensive performance data ensures that TfC has oversight of key areas of practice and performance.

“Overall, the stability of the workforce has improved within ICRT, and all posts are now covered by permanent staff. However, within the assessment team the use of agency staff is still high, at 50%,” said the report.

However, Ofsted warned that the quality and timeliness of assessments are not consistent due to the reliance on agency staff. Despite the improvements in the most recent assessments, the majority of children’s plans are not good enough to ensure that their needs are met.

Domestic violence is a key factor in referrals to ICRT and in the high number of re-referrals. There is a range of services available, including new initiatives such as the national pilot of the ‘Change that lasts’ model. However, despite these initiatives and the wide range of services, TfC knows that services are not sufficiently coordinated to meet local needs across Sunderland.

Monitoring visit of Sunderland Together for Children report

 

 

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

It’s our 18th Birthday!

20/05/2022

It is a very exciting day for us at WillisPalmer today as we are celebrating the company’s 18th birthday!

So while we can pop to the pub, vote, ride a motorbike with a licence or get a tattoo, we are having a more low key celebration with coffee and cake to mark this momentous milestone [...]

Read Full Story

Perinatal mental health support needs urgent improvement

19/05/2022

New parents experiencing mental health problems risk being overlooked, a coalition of organisations has warned, as it urges government to improve access to perinatal mental health support.

The “rapid deterioration of universal health visiting services” has been blamed for new parents experiencing mental health problems being unable to access support when they need it.

“Health visitors [...]

Read Full Story

Lack of legal advice for kinship carers has devastating consequences on kinship families

19/05/2022

Prospective kinship carers do not have access to the legal advice and representation they need, which can have devastating consequences not only for them but the children they care for, The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care has warned.

A report by the APPG found that almost 4 in 10 kinship carers had not received [...]

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
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram