Ofsted says County Council is making ‘sustained progress in important areas’ in improving children’s social care

The County Council is making ‘sustained progress in important areas’ in improving children’s social care, according to Ofsted in their latest monitoring visit letter published today (24 August).

The letter follows the fourth monitoring visit from Ofsted in July 2017, during which inspectors looked at progress made in increasing the stability of the social care workforce, the effectiveness of support for care leavers including governance and quality assurance, and the quality of staff and case supervision within the aftercare service.

Ofsted inspectors stated that there has been sustained progress in important areas, such as an increase in permanent staff in almost all social care teams. Inspectors also noted that because of close working between care-leavers’ personal advisors and social workers, young people have better continuity of care and greater choice about who will support them once they reach the age of 16.

Whilst this progress is being made, inspectors noted that sufficient improvements in the experiences of care leavers are not yet evident and that practice remains too inconsistent.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I take confidence from this latest Ofsted monitoring visit letter that we are on the right track with the improvements we are making to our social care services. This is reassuring to hear. The inspectors have quite rightly noted some aspects of our work where we need to do better and make changes more quickly; we are acutely aware that we need to work more quickly to address the remaining issues and the Council fully commits to doing this.

“While I want to thank all of our social care staff, whose continued hard work means that we are on an improving path, there is clearly a need for us to apply all of our collective efforts to achieve our aim of providing an even better service for our looked-after children.”

Gladys Rhodes White, Interim Executive Director for Children’s Services, said: “We are all encouraged to hear from the Ofsted inspectors that they are seeing that the changes and improvements we’ve been making for some time are making a tangible difference to children and families.

“However, there is no room for us to be complacent and we are all focused in the knowledge of what we need to do to get to the point where our support for children and families is consistently good. With the continued efforts of our excellent staff we are determined to improve outcomes for our looked-after children, young people and care-leavers.”

View the Ofsted monitoring visit letter.