Inspectors have praised the quality of social work in two different councils in reports published today.
Direct work with children and families is of a “high standard” in Greenwich children’s services, while social workers acted well on the wishes of children in Stockton-on-Tees, where young people’s participation in service design and review is also “strong”.
Stockton improved its rating from ‘adequate’ in 2013, and inspectors found supporting social work had helped drive improvements.
“Regular supervision of frontline staff is one example of how senior management scrutiny has improved performance,” inspectors concluded.
“Highly effective leadership from the director of children’s services sets clear priorities and aspirations to improve outcomes for children and young people. Inspectors have seen good evidence of sustained improvement since the last inspector.”
Greenwich maintained its ‘good’ rating from 2013, and the report identified how child protection issues were responded to well.
“Most assessments are of high quality and timely, and identify when further assistance is required. Direct work is of a high standard, and is provided by social workers who know the children and young people well,” the inspection found.
It added that workers across the service contributed to improvements, and an “excellent focus on recruitment and retention” meant Greenwich’s workforce was mainly permanent staff.
Greenwich council was told it needed to improve the consistency of management oversight and performance across all frontline social work teams, and ensure cultural background and diversity are consistently taken into account in assessments and planning.
The quality of supervision in Stockton required improvement, and the quality and consistency of all children’s and young people’s plans needed to be better quality.