Council praised for keeping social workers ‘secure’ during significant change

The 'inadequate' council had just undergone a restructure to improve services for young people

past future
Photo: MichaelJBerlin/Fotolia

An ‘inadequate’ children’s service has been praised for its “clear vision” for a restructured service for children in and leaving care.

A monitoring inspection of Worcestershire children’s services found changes made to the provision for children in care and care leavers demonstrated a “clear vision” and “positive culture”.

“Social workers and managers told inspectors they feel secure during this period of significant change,” the report said.

The council restructured teams to create a ‘throughcare’ service, which brought together teams for looked-after children, care leavers and outreach support service.

Inspectors said appropriate financial resources for children’s services was “enabling progress” and children were beginning to receive better support.

“Children in care team managers receive comprehensive and up-to-date performance information. This improved performance information is beginning to support learning and a culture of improvement among some of the throughcare service management team.”

Compliance

Despite improvements, inspectors said management oversight was not robust enough, and did not provide “critical evaluation and actions that effectively progress cases”.

“Too many audits focus on compliance rather than the experiences of children and young people and the impact of practice. Audits will benefit from more extensive moderation to ensure a comprehensive view of practice and impact,” inspectors said.

Many of the positive changes were recent, and not all children were receiving appropriate support, but Ofsted concluded the authority was making progress in improving services.

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