Improving Outcomes For Our Children
Response to the 2017 Ofsted Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers in Worcestershire.
Worcestershire County Council is confident that the right leadership team is in place to improve outcomes for the county's children. An inspection by Ofsted, into services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers, was published 24th of January 2017 and has described the service as inadequate. An eight point improvement plan is in place which is being led by the newly appointed Director of Children, Families and Communities Dr Catherine Driscoll:
Support and develop our workforce
Ensure we have the right capacity and capability within our workforce.
Improve our practice
Ensure we have up-to-date policies,procedures and tools for social workers to achieve high quality practice.
Commitment to continuous improvement
We will strive for continuous improvement by developing our Quality Assurance function and performance management information. This will provide support and challenge us about the quality of our services.
Listen to the voice of the child
Gather regular feedback from our service users and listen to the children we work with to improve our services.
Make the right decisions at the right time
Work with partners to improve outcomes for children by sharing information and identifying needs as early as possible to ensure the right support is provided at the right time.
Deliver good outcomes for children
Support our children and young people in care to achieve their full potential in education and support them in their transition to adulthood and independence.
Focus on permanency for our children
We are committed to achieving permanence for our children in care, and will ensure any legal proceedings are conducted in a quality and timely manner.
Provide earlier access to support for children and families
Work closely with our partners in universal services and those delivering targeted early help to provide access to coordinated support for children and families before their needs escalate.
Clare Marchant, Chief Executive, speaks about her commitment into making sure children's services are improved in Worcestershire and are done so quickly.
Dr Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children, Families and Communities, talks about her 'driving ambition' to improve services for children in Worcestershire following the Ofsted inspection.
In their own voices this is how young people in Worcestershire have described their experiences:
Care leaver Matt said:
“Having a good foster carer helps you develop life skills. Having a positive relationship with my foster carer and social worker has been a great support while I’ve been in care and as a care leaver. Just because you leave their care, it doesn’t mean the relationship has to end.”
Care leaver Alison, said:
“When I was in the Care Leaver’s council, (Speak Out) I experienced professionals being good corporate parents asking us what we wanted and needed from them. It helped develop my confidence and skills. I have achieved more than I thought I could and I love my job. Being where I am today also provides another positive role model for my brother who still is in Worcestershire’s care.”
Courtney, an apprentice with the Green Fingers project, said:
“I was learning teaching and communication skills from them and they were also encouraging the older ones including me to join in and not be embarrassed about what others think of your ideas. Every time I go to the music and arts sessions my confidence grows as I’m learning different skills and doing different activities every time. Being a part of Green Fingers makes me feel safe as I know the staff very well and I also know the place where I’ll be working. I have now gone onto gaining the apprenticeship which will allow me to gain new skills, learn more and earn money for the first time. Starting the Green Fingers Project for the first time, I was shy and scared and would barely talk to anyone but as the years went by I built confidence and trust with the staff. I am proud of what I have achieved since I started the Green Fingers Project.”
Read the Ofsted Report (the link takes you the Ofsted report which is in PDF format)