Ofsted praises Haringey’s children’s safeguarding work

Safeguarding at Haringey Council's children's services department has been praised by Ofsted following an unannounced two-day inspection (pic credit Gavin Rogers/Rex Features)

Safeguarding at Haringey Council’s children’s services department has been praised by Ofsted following an unannounced inspection which revealed progress at the once troubled council.

The council – which has been working to improve its safeguarding measures after the death of Baby P in 2008 – was praised for its committed leadership, performance management and accurate, quality assessments following the two-day inspection.

Published today, the watchdog’s report identified seven key strengths and no “priority actions”. Child protection investigations, the allocation of case work and initial and core assessments are being undertaken promptly, inspectors found, and staff morale is good.

Joint working, through strong community networks, are helping services to respond promptly to the assessed needs of children and identify those who are at risk of harm, the watchdog found.

Managers at the council have “established a culture which sustains good direction and guidance on cases and continuous improvement,” Ofsted said.

Inspectors did, however, highlight three areas in need of development. These were workload pressures within the children in need team; the quality of case closure summaries; and the reporting of the outcome of initial assessments.

The council said it had already identified these areas and had action plans in place.

Cllr Lorna Reith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “This report is real evidence of the significant progress made in the past couple of years across all areas of our children’s safeguarding service.

“But we are certainly not complacent and recognise there is still some way to go to reach the level of the very best.

“That means a continued focus on improvement, which we are now well placed to do.”

The report comes in the same week that Sharon Shoesmith, who was dismissed as head of children’s services at Haringey following the Baby P case, told MPs that the toddler’s death did not demonstrate a systematic departmental failure.

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