OFSTED inspectors find progress being made in Worcestershire's children's services

Published Thursday, 22nd February 2018

The latest monitoring visit to Worcestershire children’s services, by Ofsted Inspectors, has found that progress is being made.

One year on from an Ofsted report that found that Children's Services in Worcestershire were inadequate inspectors have reported that they are seeing improvements to the service. Inspectors have identified a positive shift in the morale and culture of the workforce. Social workers, they say, are growing in confidence.

In a letter published today by Ofsted following a monitoring visit in January, inspectors recognise that there has been significant financial investment enabling change to be implemented. While social work practice still needs to improve, inspectors report that progress is starting to be made.

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 that inspectors have seen some evidence of improvement for the second monitoring visit in a row. There is a lot more that we have to do and to support these ongoing improvements we are investing an extra £10.5 million into Children's Social Care in Worcestershire from April."

Inspectors reported seeing reduced caseloads for some, but not all parts of the workforce. Ofsted found that some children continue to experience too many changes in social workers and team managers and this continues to be an area where improvement is required.

Essex County Council is working alongside Worcestershire's Children's Services as its Improvement Partner.

The next stage of deciding how Children's Social Care Services are to be delivered in the future in Worcestershire will be discussed by Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet next month. The alternative way of delivering these services means more focus on improving services and keeping children and young people safe from harm.