Mark Whitehead 02 September 2016

Sunderland children’s services makes 'significant progress'

Children's services in Sunderland have made 'significant progress' since being judged inadequate last year, Ofsted inspectors have said.

Their visit in August focused on the progress in improving services for care leavers which was one of the areas criticised.

The inspectors spoke to care leavers and staff including social workers, managers and housing providers.

They examined electronic case records, supervision records, observation of social work practice, performance data and young people's case file audit findings.

Ofsted inspector Fiona Millns, who led the visit, said: 'The local authority is making significant progress to improve services for care leavers.'

Leader of Sunderland City Council Paul Watson said: 'We know that we’ve still got a long way to go and a lot of work to do before services are where they need to be.

'We won’t be happy until services across the board are in a much better place but it’s heartening to know we are beginning to make inroads in improving the lives of children and young people.'

Nick Whitfield, Sunderland's commissioner for children's services, added: 'I'm pleased to see such a solid start on the improvement journey. I believe it gives us a huge amount to build on.'

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