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Response to Ofsted inspection - 2017

Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers in South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire Council is determined to improve services for children, following publication of an Ofsted inspection report. The report followed a four-week inspection in November and December 2016 for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. While adoption services were rated good, it concluded that overall services in South Gloucestershire are inadequate.

In their report, Ofsted recognises that the council is already taking steps to quickly address issues identified, but a robust improvement plan is being developed to move services for children and young people to a good rating at the earliest opportunity. Priority measures which have already been completed or which are in the process of being implemented include:

  • An improvement board has been set up for the 0-25 disability service
  • A review is underway to look at how we can best identify children who may be at risk of sexual exploitation
  • We are assessing how care plans for looked after children can best meet children’s changing needs or circumstances.
  • A training needs assessment is being conducted to ensure staff are fully equipped with the right skills to help children.

In their report, inspectors also highlighted a number of strengths, including:

  • Social workers know children well and ensure their views are heard
  • Adoption performance is rated as good. Children who cannot live with their birth families are routinely considered for adoption and are found caring homes quickly
  • Children whose needs are clear are referred to the access and response team and social workers and managers swiftly refer them to the right service

Staff feel well supported and cared for by visible and approachable managers. Practitioners are proud to work for the council and consistently say that services are improving.

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