Ofsted praises staff at outstanding-rated care leaver service

Inspectors found practitioners in East Riding council's care leaver team showed 'strong professional empathy'

Photo: Luis Echeverri Urrea/Fotolia
Photo: Luis Echeverri Urrea/Fotolia

An ‘outstanding’ care leavers service that “tirelessly” supports young people has been praised by Ofsted.

In an inspection of East Riding council, inspectors said the pathway team for young people leaving care had “strong professional empathy” and used “excellent skills” to make the correct decisions for children.

Overall, the council was rated to have ‘good’ children’s services by the watchdog, with the care leaver services drawing particular praise.

“The local authority has sustained the quality of this service over time. It has ample accommodation available, and staff provide it swiftly, whether allocating it for the first time or finding alternative safe accommodation, when a young person’s tenancy breaks down,” the inspection said.

Care leavers told inspectors they were supported “exceptionally well” by staff, and the proportion living in suitable accommodation was considerably higher than other authorities across the country.

The council prioritised recruitment and retention of social workers in children’s services, which meant teams were fully staffed, inspectors found.

“Social workers are tenacious and creative in engaging with and understanding the wishes and feelings of children, and make good use of a range of direct work tools,” the report said.

Inspectors found children had good and meaningful relationships with social workers, who spoke enthusiastically about the children in their care.

“Children are seen alone and often by their social workers, and their views and experiences are well recorded, informing assessments and plans. Children are helped to make sense of their life histories by excellent, sensitive and child-centred direct work,” inspectors added.

Ofsted told the council to make sure supervision for social workers was “reflective, challenging and well recorded”. The regulator also recommended that child protection strategy discussions be strengthened so that they consistently involved the input of all relevant professionals.

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