East Riding of Yorkshire Council's response to children's social care services Ofsted inspection

Fri, 13 Mar 2020

Following the publication of an inspection report by Ofsted, East Riding of Yorkshire Council would like to reassure residents about the quality of our social services for children.

Ofsted has published a report about the council's children's social care services based on a short inspection visit in December 2019 which involved a snapshot of a relatively few sample cases.

The report considered three aspects of the service:

  • The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families
  • The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection
  • The experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers.

Although the experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers was rated as good, the other two areas were rated as inadequate and therefore Ofsted's overall judgement was that the services as a whole were inadequate.

The judgement is very disappointing for the council and does not reflect the range of effective, successful work carried out by our highly-professional, committed and caring staff across all the services and across the East Riding.

The council is absolutely committed to providing the best possible services for children, young people and their families and, while we disagree with a number of aspects of the report, we acknowledge there are areas of improvement and we will be making every effort to do so.

The council continually strives to keep improving all aspects of our work and this is a constant and evolving process. Children's services are no different and the inspection came during a period of transition.

We will now be working with Ofsted, the Department for Education (DfE) and other partners to make sure this transitional process is as effective as possible and that any improvements are made in a timely manner.

Like with any other local authority facing unprecedented demand and severe financial constraints, our staff work in often very difficult and challenging circumstances. However we are dedicated in our aspiration to provide the best possible service and outcomes through continual learning and development. This includes improving where necessary and constantly reviewing our working practices and effectiveness.

A number of strengths were identified in the Ofsted report and many more positives were also fed back to us verbally by the inspection team during their visit and these acknowledged many aspects of very strong performance and outcomes across children's services.

These include an outstanding inspection outcome for our Youth Offending Service, described as the best in the country by the Youth Justice Board, our Children's Centre and Early Help services which routinely receive regional and national recognition, our very high-performing Troubled Families programme and the effectiveness of our support for children in care and care leavers.

We will continue to build on these successes while also considering those areas identified as in need of development.

We are already working on an improvement plan, as part of our ethos of constantly reviewing and developing, and this will take into account the Ofsted feedback.

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