Thurrock Council has received very positive feedback on its Children's Services which have been rated 'Good' following a recent full inspection by Ofsted.
A team from Ofsted carried out a detailed and thorough inspection of all aspects of Children's Services between Monday 4 November and Friday 22 November 2019. The inspection, under the Inspection of Local Authorities Children's Services (ILACS) framework, involved:
- interviewing senior leaders and managers
- discussions with a wide number of social workers
- seeking feedback from children, including care leavers
- reviewing a significant number of cases
The Ofsted report states that: "Services for vulnerable children and their families in Thurrock are now good... strong child-centred practice is evident across all teams and services. Skilled and committed social workers and other frontline practitioners listen to children and their parents. They take time to understand children’s experiences. Staff act swiftly to prevent harm and provide support early. Current senior leaders have worked diligently to develop and support a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Stability of leadership and strong aspirations to ‘get it right’ for vulnerable children are key factors in their success."
The inspection focused on the following areas, all of which have been rated 'Good':
- the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families
- the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection
- the experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers
- overall effectiveness
Cllr Sue Little, Cabinet Member for Children and Adult Social Care, said: "This is a tremendous result and reflects the commitment of all the officers in the council to ensuring young people and children have the best support possible.
"In the last full Ofsted inspection in February 2016 the service was judged as 'requires improvement'. Since then we have made a huge commitment to improving the outcomes for children and it is great that all our hard work has been acknowledged.
"Ofsted has seen how our services for children have developed and improved since they last completed a full inspection. I would like to thank all my social work team and managers I could not be prouder of them all."
Cllr Shane Hebb, Acting Leader of the Council, said: "This is an achievement to which everyone who works in, with and alongside Thurrock Council's Children's Services must be proud. Following the significant investment we have made into this key priority, the service has been credited with a ‘Good’ rating for the services it provides, which ultimately is about caring for our children and young people.
"We will now move on to getting even better by taking the improvement considerations in the report forward. Again, well done and thank you to the team, and the partners of the team, who have achieved a quite simply fantastic result."
You can download the full report from Ofsted: Thurrock Council.
Photo below: Councillor Sue Little with Children's Services officers.