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Latest monitoring visit to Worcestershire children’s services

Ofsted monitoring visit Published Wednesday, 30th January 2019

The latest monitoring visit to children’s services by Ofsted has found progress being made in improving services for children & young people at risk from sexual exploitation & those who go missing.

Two years on from an Ofsted report that found that Children's Services in Worcestershire were inadequate, inspectors have completed their final monitoring visit and report that progress has been made.

Earlier this month inspectors reviewed the Council's arrangements for the protection of children and young people who are vulnerable to child sexual exploitation and who go missing from home or from care.

In a letter published today by Ofsted, inspectors describe how children at risk from sexual exploitation and those children who go missing are proactively worked with in Worcestershire to reduce the risk. The Council's more effective approach, says the report, has reduced the numbers of children and young people going missing.

The report goes onto say that social workers know their children and have built trusted and open relationships with them.

Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, said: "I am really pleased that Ofsted continues to report the improvements that we are making. Our staff are working very hard and I am pleased that has been recognised.  We are determined to reduce the risks that children and young people face from child sexual exploitation. We have recruited children missing officers to help to reduce the numbers of those children and young people who go missing.  We will continue invest into improving the lives of children and young people in Worcestershire. We are proposing to spend an additional £7.8m on Children’s Social Care in the next financial year."

The report highlights a social media application which is now being used in Worcestershire to improve communication with children and young people.

Inspectors report that too many young people in Worcestershire are still not in education, training or employment which the report says, increases their vulnerability.

Under direction from the Department for Education, a wholly owned council company, Worcestershire Children First, is currently being developed to deliver Children's Social Care Services. The company is due to be launched in October.