Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Worcestershire has made progress but more work required

Worcestershire children’s services continue to require much work to be of a good standard, but progress has been made, Ofsted inspectors have found.

During the third monitoring visit of Worcestershire which focused on the areas of help and protection, inspectors found significant financial investment means that senior leaders are able to implement change, from a very low base, where it is needed.

“Leaders recognise that a strong infrastructure needs to be in place to support effective social work practice and while practice overall needs to improve, positive progress is starting to be made,” said the report.

Investment in additional social workers is resulting in reduced caseloads for some, but not all, parts of the workforce, including newly qualified social workers. The local authority has also reviewed social work pay and conditions, which is resulting in a number of agency social workers securing permanent contracts with the council.

Inspectors noted:

  • Improvements in morale and culture of the workforce
  • Social workers are growing in confidence
  • An improved level of professional curiosity
  • Improvements in the consistency of practice

However some children continue to experience too many changes in social workers and team managers which has resulted in delays in case progression for a small number of children. The quality and consistency of management oversight and decision-making remain areas of improvement and the local authority has not yet achieved its ambition to reduce caseloads for all social workers.

The application of thresholds for intervention by children’s social care and their partners has improved but remains inconsistent, and not all children receive a good enough service. Inspectors did not see any evidence of children suffering any adverse impact from this inconsistency.

Overall, audit activity undertaken by the local authority accurately reflects the quality of social work practice seen by inspectors. An effective whole-system approach to quality assurance has been developed.

Supervision of social workers by team managers continues to be process driven, not reflective and not always regular. However, newly qualified social workers report that they are well supported in their first year in practice although some caseloads are too high, even when co-working arrangements are in place.

A range of appropriate training and development opportunities are in place for social workers and managers, and this is starting to have the desired impact. The local authority has invested significantly in supporting social workers to understand the child’s lived experience and, as a result, assessments and plans are demonstrating early signs of featuring the child’s voice and their lived experience.

Worcestershire monitoring visit

Knowledge & Resources

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

All children removed from Rainsbrook

17/06/2021

All children are to be removed from Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, the Lord Chancellor has announced.

Robert Buckland has confirmed that work is underway to move all children from the privately-run Secure Training Centre amid serious ongoing concerns about safety and performance.

The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: “Six months ago, I demanded that MTC take [...]

Read Full Story

Response to 'Case for Change'

17/06/2021

What the children’s services sector said about the independent review into children’s social care.

ADCS

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services President, Charlotte Ramsden, said: “This review is a once in a generation opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change for the children and young people who need our help and support to thrive. The case [...]

Read Full Story

Children’s social care system likened to Jenga tower held together with Sellotape

17/06/2021

Children’s services often intervene with vulnerable families too late, the independent review into children’s social care has stated.

The government’s main focus should be on supporting the resources of families and the wider community to keep children safe as close to a family environment as is possible. While decisive action still needs to be taken [...]

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

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