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Monitoring visit highlights progress made in children’s services

Published Thursday, 08 December 2016

A recent visit by Ofsted has found some good areas of progress made by the Council’s children’s services.

Inspectors spent two days in Coventry at the start of November. It was the first monitoring visit since a full inspection in 2014. They spoke to staff including managers, social workers and a range of partners including health and Police colleagues. They also tracked seven cases and sampled a range of files.

Areas of progress included:

  • Work has been done to reduce social work caseloads to a manageable level
  • Establishment of a MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) since the last visit is ensuring greater consistency of response and is helping manage the volume of work into social care.
  • The MASH is making informed decisions based on need and is ensuring requests for help are being responded to in a timely manner
  • Greater compliance with assessment and planning processes
  • Evidence of direct work by social workers with children, making a positive difference
  • Social workers say they feel supported and evidence demonstrates more regular supervision.

The visit also raised some areas where progress hadn’t been as good and in some of the case files they selected, inspectors found more work needed to be done on providing the right response.

Director of Children’s Services John Gregg said: “Day in and day out social workers are out on the front line working with Coventry’s most vulnerable children and making a real difference to keep them safe. 
“We are constantly evaluating our own work and we know the areas we’re doing well in and the areas that we need to continue to focus on. Although it was only a small sample by Ofsted, this external feedback helps to reinforce our own assessments and supports our relentless focus on improvement.“

Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “We know there is still a lot to do and inspectors confirmed that we have a good understanding of what those challengers are and more importantly how to address them. We are reassured that Ofsted share our own view that we are heading in the right direction on our journey to transform services for children, young people and families.”

"I often see brilliant work from dedicated, passionate and brilliant social work staff. But I also agree with the inspectors that there are some areas of practice that are not good enough and I will continue to challenge and question where I see this, and I’m in no doubt that we still have a lot to do."

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