Children’s Services In Scilly Rated ‘Good’ By Ofsted

hugh town housesChildren’s Services in Scilly have been rated as amongst the top 25% in the country.

That follows a three-week Ofsted inspection in April this year when the service was given a ‘Good’ rating by inspectors.

The inspection focused on compliance and the quality and effectiveness of services in helping the most vulnerable children on the islands to achieve better outcomes.

The inspectors observed social workers and their managers in action, sought feedback from children, young people and parents, and met with the Council’s partners and other professionals.

They found a number of significant strengths in practice on the islands and stated: “Children who require the involvement of children’s services, from early help to specialist support, receive a consistently good service.

“Children and their parents consistently speak highly of their social workers and of the services and support they have received and which have improved their lives.”

The inspectors recommend some improvements, such as continued effort to recruit emergency foster carers for the islands and to ensure children leaving the islands at 16-years of age for continued education have access to safe accommodation.

They also stated that some children with mental health needs couldn’t rely on regular professional support because this is provided from the mainland. This means there are delays or gaps in the provision of help, which leads to their difficulties getting worse, they added.

At the time of the inspection, 25 children were identified as being in need of a specialist children’s service although no island child was the subject of a child protection plan.

Ofsted says the new inspection regime has ‘raised the bar’ and over 73% of local authority children’s services in England have been rated overall as ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement.’

The Council’s Lead Member for Children, Cllr Fran Grottick, said: ‘I am sure the previous Lead Member for Children, Cllr Avril Mumford who was in post during the inspection period, joins me in congratulating the whole team in achieving this very good report and grading.

“It is very exciting and rewarding to work together to keep children safe and to aim to help them achieve their full potential. We look to the whole community to help us in this vital work’.

The full report is available here.

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