Workforce stability and the recruitment of permanent social workers continue to be challenges at Leicester, Ofsted has warned.
While the council has made some progress in reducing changes in social worker for some children, such changes are still too common, which reduces children’s opportunity to build trust.
Services for children have improved significantly since the last inspection in 2015 when the council was deemed to be inadequate overall. Decisive action was taken to make the necessary improvements and sustained progress has been achieved, inspectors said.
One of the main foundations of this progress is the effective use of quality assurance and performance management information, which enables managers to understand what they need to do to keep children safe and how to better manage identified risks.
There has also been a massive culture change at Leicester and staff work in an “open and transparent” environment.
Ofsted also highlighted:
- The local authority has revitalised and strengthened relationships with partners.
- Changes made through the local authority’s improvement plan have now become part of everyday practice.
- Those children at immediate risk of significant harm benefit from effective strategy discussions at the front door.
- Participation in the county-wide multi-agency child sexual exploitation hub since earlier this year is already showing a positive impact for children.
“In parallel to progress, there remain areas of practice needing improvement. These include the work done for disabled children and those privately fostered,” said the report.
Children’s services in Leicester require improvement to be good. However the categories of adoption and leadership gained ‘good’ ratings from Ofsted inspectors.