Children “cared for and cared about”
Telford & Wrekin Council’s outstanding Ofsted judgement reflects several years of hard work with a clear focus on improving services, says a report to the authority’s next cabinet meeting.
It acknowledges that the council needs to build on this success going forward and continue working to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young families.
The council became only the second in the country to make the leap from a judgement of “requires improvement to be good” to outstanding in the space of one inspection, following Ofsted’s visit in January.
The report to the cabinet meeting on July 9 says the council is the only authority in both the West Midlands and the North West to achieve outstanding for overall effectiveness.
Ofsted found that senior leaders have implemented a clear and ambitious vision for vulnerable children and families but that despite this success they continue to work to continually improve services.
It also found that the response to children facing risks outside of the family is very strong and “an area of excellent practice,”
The Ofsted report said: ”Children benefit from high quality social work and an impressive range of specialist services that improve their well-being and help to protect them from harm.”
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Children, Young People, Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We were all so very proud when we learned of the Ofsted judgement, it is a fantastic achievement by everyone connected with our children’s services.
“There is no doubt that it is a very positive judgement which reflects several years of hard work with a clear focus on improving services.
“We are determined not to rest on our laurels and we know we need to build on this going forward and continue to strive to work to improve outcomes for our vulnerable children and young people and their families.
“This includes our work on criminal exploitation, reducing exclusion by creating a sense of belonging as well as the implementation of the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding model – a clear example of best practice.”
The council was successful last year in applying to join the Department for Education’s Strengthening Families programme.
Going forward, funding from this programme will be used to implement the family safeguarding model which is designed to keep families together where it is safe to do so.
This is achieved through a more collaborative way of working where parents are motivated to identify changes needed within their own families, helpng to achieve better outcomes for children.
Please note the picture was taken before the lockdown, when social distancing rules did not apply.