Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Vulnerable adolescents receive good service in Kingston-upon-Thames

Most vulnerable adolescents in Kingston-upon-Thames receive a good service from skilled and enthusiastic social workers, Ofsted has reported.

Social workers and other professionals have a comprehensive understanding of the range of risks that young people encounter from outside the family, and take appropriate action to reduce those risks, Ofsted said.

"Links between children and young people’s experiences of neglect and domestic abuse within the family and the increased vulnerability to exploitation are well understood," said the report. "Responses are appropriately prioritised, and children and young people benefit from specialist, accessible and well-resourced help and protection."

However, inspectors found that a few children had been living in neglectful or abusive circumstances for too long, despite social work intervention, and a small number of children had been out of statutory education for some time. These factors had increased their vulnerability to exploitation and, in some cases, their challenging behaviours had
become more entrenched.

In the focused inspection, inspectors looked at the local authority’s arrangements for protecting vulnerable adolescents.

The report found:

- Vulnerable adolescents are protected effectively at the ‘front door’.

- The response to young people who go missing is timely and proportionate.

- The take-up of return home interviews is high. Young people benefit from a consistent approach from a small team of skilled workers, who undertake return home interviews with children who have been missing from home and care, including those placed out-of-authority.

- The multi-agency risk, vulnerability and exploitation (MARVE) panel, which has recently been expanded and reconfigured, has strong partnership commitment and is enabling comprehensive information-sharing.

- Risks of exploitation or vulnerability to exploitation are identified well by social workers.

- The youth resilience service provides a comprehensive and accessible service to vulnerable adolescents.

- Social workers know their young people well and work is very clearly child focused.

However, education arrangements are insufficient for some vulnerable adolescents who are not accessing mainstream education. A small number of young people have been out of education for too long and are only accessing a very small amount of tuition in the community or at home. In addition to the negative impact on education and employment outcomes, the lack of structure and purpose in the young people’s days means that they are more vulnerable to negative or harmful influences.

The report also notes that while there is a strong focus on the use of general and themed audits to improve practice, audits are more focused on compliance than the impact of intervention on outcomes. Audits lack specific recommendations to improve the effectiveness and quality of work with children and to sufficiently enable learning to be replicated and embedded more widely.

Supervision of social workers is regular and there is some evidence of reflection during supervision sessions. However, discussions do not consistently result in clear and specific actions to improve young people’s circumstances.

"Caseloads are manageable and staff are able to visit young people more frequently than statutory requirements if necessary. Staff morale is high and all staff report visible, supportive management. There is access to relevant training, as evidenced by the widespread awareness of the workforce of emerging local concerns in relation to county lines and organised crime," said the report.

Ofsted recommends that Kingston-upon-Thames improves education arrangements for adolescents who are not in receipt of full-time education, to reduce their vulnerability to exploitation.

The coordination and review of risk minimisation planning and the actions required needs improvement and the quality of audits needs work to better consider the impact of intervention on improving outcomes for young people and which lead to more specific
child-focused actions.

Focused visit to the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames local authority children’s services

Knowledge & Resources

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

Social workers urged to support fathers at risk of causing harm to children

16/09/2021

Social workers, midwives and health visitors are being urged to provide more support to fathers following an independent review into safeguarding children under one year old from non-accidental injury caused by male carers.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s latest review looks at the lives of babies who were known or suspected to have [...]

Read Full Story

Child sexual abuse found in most major religions in UK

16/09/2021

‘Blatant hypocrisy and moral failing of religions’ has been highlighted following an investigation which found child sexual abuse had been found in most major religions in the UK.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report ‘Child protection in religious organisations and settings’ examined evidence received from 38 religious organisations with a presence in England [...]

Read Full Story

Significant shift needed in adoption system

15/09/2021

There should be a significant shift in thinking about the adoption system in order to provide better support for some of England’s most vulnerable children, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption and Permanence has urged.

Following a three-month inquiry, the APPGAP has launched a report calling for a system-wide move from ‘family finding’, the [...]

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
WP Quality Assured

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

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