The latest monitoring visit to Worcestershire children’s services, by Ofsted Inspectors, has found evidence of improvement.
An Ofsted report, published in January 2017, found that Children's Services in Worcestershire were inadequate. Nine months on inspectors have now identified some tangible improvements. The County Council's Improvement Plan was described by inspectors as succinct and well-focussed.
However, in a letter published today by Ofsted following a monitoring visit in September, Her Majesty's Inspector Dominic Stevens made it clear that services for children in Worcestershire require much further progress.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, said: "Our staff are working very hard to deliver the improvements that we need to deliver. I am pleased to see that the inspectors have seen some improvements but we have an awful lot of work still to do to get to the stage where are consistently delivering high quality services to children, young people and their families.
"Our priority continues to be to make sure that long term improvements are made. We remain absolutely committed to that and we have already allocated an extra £5.1 million into improving Children's Social Care in Worcestershire this year."
Essex County Council was last month formally appointed as Worcestershire's Improvement Partner. The appointment was approved by Trevor Doughty, the Department for Education's Commissioner for Children's Services in Worcestershire. Experts from Essex will work alongside the county's Children's Services team to improve the lives of children and young people in Worcestershire.
A recommendation to voluntarily place Children's Services into a different form was discussed at last month's meeting of the Cabinet. A review into alternative models has now begun.
A new Children and Young People’s Plan setting out the ambition for Worcestershire to be a wonderful place for all children and young people to grow up in has also been launched.