Dan Peters 24 May 2019

'Slow progress' two years after inadequate judgement

Gloucestershire CC is making ‘slow progress’ in improving its services for its children and young people two years after it was judged inadequate, Ofsted has found.

In a letter, inspector Nicola Bennett wrote: ‘Overall, key areas that make a difference to children’s lives, such as being seen quickly, being kept safe and developing trusting relationships with social workers, are not yet good enough.

‘Despite a number of practice improvements in the multi-agency safeguarding hub and, although performance is improving, delays in decision-making remain for too many children where there are immediate safeguarding concerns.

‘A significant concern remains that only just over half of children referred to children’s services remain a timely visit to assess their circumstances and ascertain their welfare.

'Performance over time is not improving.

‘The views of children and young people are not routinely represented at child protection meetings and, where young people are not consistently engaged, the effectiveness of interventions is reduced.

‘Management oversight is not yet sufficiently rigorous or challenging to ensure that children’s circumstances are improving within reasonable timescales.’

Gloucestershire’s cabinet member for children and young people, Richard Boyles, said: ‘The team continue to work hard to make the changes needed to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children and young people in the county.

‘The senior leadership team has a vision and a plan to get there.

'We need to keep up the recruitment drive for permanent social workers and work closely with teams to make sure good practice is common across all areas.’

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