The latest monitoring visit to Worcestershire children’s services by Ofsted Inspectors has found a 'positive trajectory of change' as progress continues to be made to improve services.
Twenty months on from an Ofsted report that found that children's services in Worcestershire were inadequate, inspectors have now found evidence of improvement in each of their four monitoring visits.
During their latest visit last month inspectors reviewed children subject to child protection along with child in need assessments and plans.
In a letter published today by Ofsted, inspectors describe how management structures have been enhanced and social workers’ caseloads have been reduced. A large number of social workers have been recruited by the Council in recent months and children are now experiencing more stability, with fewer changes of social worker, enabling them to build positive relationships.
Senior managers who are leading the children social care improvement plan for the Council are particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised that the quality of social work assessments have improved but accept that there is a lot more to do in order to achieve consistent and sustainable improvements.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, said: "I am really pleased that the hard work that our staff have been putting in is being recognised. The report talks of a positive morale amongst our social workers and their managers and inspectors have seen an increase in confidence. This is all really good news and makes a positive difference to our children and young people. But there is a lot more that we have to do and this Council will continue to make the improvement of children's social care in Worcestershire our top priority."
Essex County Council is working alongside Worcestershire's Children's Services as its Improvement Partner. In its most recent report it described the direction of travel in Worcestershire as positive. It went on to say that 'the Council is taking positive action to drive improvements'.
A wholly owned council company, Worcestershire Children First, is currently being developed to deliver Children's Social Care Services in a different way in the future in Worcestershire. The company is due to be launched in October of next year.