Agenda item

Feedback from the monitoring visit in October 2019 by Ofsted to Croydon's Early Help Services Children's Social Care service

Officer: Robert Henderson

Key decision: no


RESOLVED: To note the feedback from Ofsted following the seventh monitoring visit to children’s social care and early help in October 2019.


The Leader welcomed the feedback from the monitoring visit in October 2019 and noted it was encouraging; however stated that there was no complacency within the council as it was recognised further improvements were required to the service.


Members were informed by the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning that the monitoring visit had focussed on children’s social care and early help. Work which was highlighted included the council’s work on supporting children with child protection plans and child in need plans, and also the support provided to children and young people with adoption plans. The report further noted the focus of the work of the council and the dynamic leadership within the service. The Cabinet Member thanked the senior leadership for their continued work to drive forward progress within children’s social services.


The Cabinet Member further noted that the feedback recognised that staff morale had improved with staff feeling that they were supported.


Going forward, the Cabinet Member informed Members that the council was continuing to focus on ensuring that a consistent workforce was established which would support the delivery of a more consistent service to all children and young people in the borough.


Whilst the report and monitoring visit feedback had not been considered at pre-decision scrutiny, the Cabinet Member highlighted the important work of the Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee throughout the council’s improvement journey.


In terms of financial considerations, the Cabinet Member noted that the entire improvement journey had been a whole council approach and had been supported by all areas of the council. Significant investment in the service’s budget had been important to support these improvements which had been supported across the council.


The progress made within the service was welcomed, however the Cabinet Member stated that there was absolutely no complacency and the council recognised that there remained a long way to go in the improvement journey.


Members noted that the feedback from the monitoring visit had been positive and highlighted the good work of officers. It was, however, noted that there continued to be variable practice within the service with the report stating that “Almost all children receive at least a reasonable level of service”; whilst it was expected that a good service was to be received by all children as improvements continued.


The Cabinet Member thanked the Shadow Cabinet Member for her work to support the improvement journey. It was noted that investment had been made in the service where it had not been before, which it was stated was a reflection of the national need to invest in children’s and adult’s social care.


In the early days of the improvement journey it had been important to build a steady foundation; as that had been established it was, the Cabinet Member stated, the opportunity to really focus on a consistent provision of service. The focus of the administration and officers was to ensure the service was rated adequate following the council’s next inspection and in future, following further improvements, to be rated outstanding.


The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:


RESOLVED: To note the feedback from Ofsted following the seventh monitoring visit to children’s social care and early help in October 2019.

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