Inspectors have praised social work practice in a council focused on “getting the basics right”.
In a thematic inspection of the multi-agency response to domestic abuse in Bradford, inspectors said senior managers had created a “healthy environment” for “effective social work to flourish”.
A report by Ofsted, the CQC and police and probation inspectors said children’s services responded to domestic abuse concerns quickly. Effective management oversight meant children received services at the right time, including support that could protect them from further abuse.
“Social workers are well supported to enable them to work effectively with families. Caseloads are manageable and workers receive regular supervision,” the report said.
The council has invested in training across agencies, and all levels of seniority, inspectors said. The report added that senior managers promoted innovation and drew on external sources for funding to help develop new approaches to social work.
The report said that social workers completed assessments to a high standard, and children’s and parents views were “strongly represented”.
“Outcomes for children and their non-abusive parents were improving in the vast majority of cases seen. This was a result of effective joint working so that children and parents were getting help that was making a real and positive difference to their lives,” the report said.
A victim of domestic abuse interviewed by inspectors praised her social workers, saying: “‘They’ve been really supportive. They have listened to me and involved me in plans about my children. My children now feel more secure and I can get hold of professionals when I need them’.”
Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s strategic director of children’s services, said: “This was a very thorough examination of part of our district’s safeguarding service which recognises the innovative work we are developing for children and parents. We know there is still much more to do, but this report shows that we are ‘getting the basics right’ and going in the right direction.”