Ofsted monitoring visit to West Sussex Children’s Services

Ofsted report that Children’s Services is making steady progress. Ofsted’s latest report states that senior leaders are ambitious and determined to improve services for children and young people with a realistic plan in place to do this.

The report from Ofsted follows the monitoring visit which took place on 18 and 19 May 2021.

The visit was focused on how a stable and long-lasting home is achieved for children and young people who are looked after by the local authority.

Ofsted looked at the quality and impact of social work practice for children in the assessment and progression of their plans for a permanent home. The report also covered the difference management supervision and decision-making has on improving outcomes for children and young people.

The key findings were:

  • Children and young people are thriving in their permanent families and their needs are being met
  • The decision-making and planning for finding children and young people long-lasting homes is well-considered
  • There is thoughtful and creative practice from staff, especially around life story work, which is a record that helps children to understand what has happened in their lives
  • While processes and quality assurance have been strengthened, there is the need for more consistency around the impact of the work taking place
  • Compliance with audit completion has significantly increased
  • Management oversight is improving but there is more to do to ensure consistency in the quality and impact of assessments and plans for children and young people

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Achieving stable and long-lasting homes for children and young people is of paramount importance to us. This report is reassuring and shows we are making positive progress in this area of the service.

The report identifies other areas that require further improvement and acknowledges that our senior leaders have a good understanding of these areas and have a clear and coherent plan in place as part of our ongoing improvement journey.

I would like to thank all our staff for their ongoing hard work and commitment as we work towards providing the best service to our vulnerable children, young people and families.”

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