Ofsted points to positive changes
Hard working social workers and improved management were headlines from the most recent Ofsted visit.
In May, Gloucestershire County Council welcomed inspectors from Ofsted for their third monitoring visit since the publication of their report in June 2017.
The feedback from the visit identified the hard work of social workers to get the best for children and their families, including clearer planning and co-ordination of care offered, which is making a real difference.
Inspectors also fed back that they’d noticed an improvement in staff morale, with social workers fully supporting the council’s plans to improve the service.
The increase in number of experienced leaders has helped with this, and has meant that workloads have decreased with better supervision of social workers and their case loads.
While there is some good feedback in the letter, Ofsted have also pointed to a number of areas where more improvements are needed.
Social work practice still needs to improve to avoid children experiencing delays. Some assessments are still not being completed quickly enough nor do they develop along with the needs of the child, causing delays in the care they receive.
The council has already started to address these concerns, with a new training programme starting which will give the council’s social workers the skills and knowledge they need to improve their practice.
A recruitment drive to bring experienced social workers into the county to improve the care and support children, young people and their families get from the council has also started.
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children and young people at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I’ve been really impressed by the impact of the new management in children’s services and am pleased that this has been reflected in the feedback from Ofsted.
“There’s more to do, we know that and we aren’t shying away from it, but I am confident we will get the service up to the standards we want and the county’s children and young people deserve.”
Chris Spencer, director of children’s services at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We welcome this feedback and are glad Ofsted have seen some improvements that are starting to have an impact on children.
“Keeping children in Gloucestershire safe is our number one priority and we are determined to make sure that children are safe and supported. Realistically, this is a two year process to get us up to ‘Good’ level and I’m grateful to the staff for all their work to date.”
The full report is available on Ofsted’s website here