An inspection by Ofsted into children’s social care services in Worcestershire has recognised that progress has been made in many areas of the service.
The report, published today, acknowledges that outcomes for many children and their families are better and that there is evidence of a “sustained trajectory of improvement”.
Ofsted judged Worcestershire Children’s Services to be inadequate in all areas of practice in 2016. When inspectors returned to Worcestershire last month, they reported that the quality of the service has moved up a category and now requires improvement to be good.
Inspectors reported that social workers know the children they work with well and that children’s views are now informing assessment outcomes and plans.
They found that effective work by senior management and staff, together with commitment and investment by political leaders, has led to improved responses to the needs of children and families.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, said: “I am pleased that inspectors have seen the improvements that have been made. I would like to thank everyone involved for all the hard work that has been put in over the last two and a half years.
“Improving the lives of children and young people in Worcestershire is a priority for this Council and since the last inspection we have invested an additional £19.8million into children’s social care services.
“There is more work still to do and we are determined that we will continue to improve our services for all children and young people in Worcestershire”.
Worcestershire County Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Dr Catherine Driscoll, said: “I am delighted Ofsted inspectors have recognised the progress we have made but am clear that there is more that we need to do. We accept what Ofsted says needs to improve and are confident that our new wholly owned council company, Worcestershire Children First, will provide a positive platform to sustain the improvement and further improve outcomes for all children and young people”.
The report states that children in Worcestershire are now better protected than they were, and the trajectory for further improvement is established.
Derek Benson, Independent Chair of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, said: “Our priority is to ensure that the best possible safeguarding arrangements are in place for children in Worcestershire. We have seen that improvements have been made in recent years and I am reassured by the findings of the Ofsted inspectors.
By continuing to work together with agencies from across Worcestershire I am confident that further improvements can be made”.
A wholly owned council company, Worcestershire Children First, is currently being developed to deliver Children's Services. The company is due to be launched in October.