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Response to Ofsted inspection - 2017

Progress update following the inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers in South Gloucestershire

Work is well underway within South Gloucestershire Council to improve services for children, following publication of an Ofsted inspection report in February 2017. While adoption services were rated good in the report, it concluded that overall services in South Gloucestershire were inadequate.

In their report, Ofsted recognised that the council was already taking steps to quickly address issues identified. A robust improvement plan to improve services for children and young people is in place. Priority actions include:

  • a specific improvement board has been set up for the 0-25 disability service, with focus on stabilising the staffing structure and improving practice
  • a review is underway to look at how we can best identify and support 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 has been conducted and is now being reviewed to ensure staff are fully equipped with the right skills to help children
  • an independent review of the early help offer across South Gloucestershire is underway to understand the current provision challenges and identify clear actions to develop the early help offer

A Children’s Services Improvement Board, chaired by an independent advisor, was established at the beginning of May and meets on a regular basis. The Board oversees progress against the improvement plan and wider practice improvement activities. This includes building on the strengths highlighted within the Ofsted report, 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.
  • Ofsted inspection – press release
  • Ofsted report
  • South Gloucestershire Council Ofsted improvement plan
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