Children's Services making 'steady progress' says Ofsted
The County Council is making ‘steady progress’ to improve children’s social care services in Buckinghamshire and is ‘strengthening practice’, according to Ofsted in their monitoring visit letter published today (10 January).
The letter follows the second monitoring visit from Ofsted in November 2016, during which inspectors looked at services for children looked after by Buckinghamshire. Ofsted note that ‘social work practice has improved for children entering care in the last six months’ and that ‘decisions for children to become looked after in the vast majority of cases seen by inspectors were timely and appropriate’; Ofsted also note that ‘whilst management oversight is evident in case files, meetings and supervision, it is not always effective in driving children’s care plans’.
Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Overall we are pleased that Ofsted are seeing continued and sustained improvement in many areas. It’s reassuring that Ofsted recognise how engaged our social workers are with their children, visiting them often, building good relationships with them and that children’s wishes and feelings are heard and acted on. I’m also pleased that it has been noted that the social care leadership team is effective in achieving improvements.
“We are of course aware that there is still much more to do and we all continue to work hard to achieve the level of service that our children and young people deserve.”
David Johnston, Managing Director for Children’s Social Care and Learning, said: “The outcome of Ofsted’s second monitoring visit is encouraging and confirms that children in Buckinghamshire are now better supported. Although considerable work still needs to be done, it's another positive milestone for us to continue to build on.
“It’s important to note that we are already implementing changes in many of the areas noted for improvement including timely access to Life Story work and ensuring that commissioned services for children who go missing from care carry out timely return interviews to ensure those children and young people are safe.
“I would like to thank all of our social care colleagues and partners for their continued hard work, every one of whom is committed to making a positive difference to children’s lives in Buckinghamshire."
Read the Ofsted letter at: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/local_authority_reports/buckinghamshire/053_Monitoring%20visit%20of%20LA%20children%27s%20services%20as%20pdf.pdf