Safeguarding and looked after children’s services in North Lincolnshire are now rated among the best in the country. This follows an Ofsted inspection that took place 23 April to 4 May 2012 that found services for looked after children to be outstanding, and services to safeguard children to be good with outstanding features.
The report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted the outstanding work done to involve children and young people in driving forward the quality of services.
It also praised the strong contribution of partners and the outstanding capacity for improvement and change. It noted that ‘services for children are a key priority for the council and Children’s Trust’.
The report found that services for children looked after in the care of North Lincolnshire Council are outstanding - one of just two councils in the country so far inspected by Ofsted who have achieved this rating.
The report highlighted the outstanding ambition for the safety of children and young people in North Lincolnshire and the outstanding leadership and management that is helping deliver ‘good performance and some outstanding performance’.
Ofsted also pointed to the concerted efforts to keep young people safe. Inspectors said children and young people seen by inspectors said they feel safe where they live, in school and at home and they know where to go if they felt unsafe and who they would contact.
Cllr Rob Waltham, cabinet member for People at North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“This is a fantastic result and is excellent news for children and young people in North Lincolnshire. We are pleased that our work in looking after the most vulnerable people in society is recognised.
“We’re delighted that the work the council has done with its partners in looking after children who can no longer live at home are judged as outstanding.
“Foster carers are by far out biggest provider of children’s accommodation, and they too deserve recognition for the work they do in helping nurture and develop children. We have invested significantly in our foster care service and as a result, we are now recruiting more foster carers.
“Also our plans to build a new children’s campus - a purpose-built residential accommodation for looked after children - demonstrates further commitment to children.
“The most pleasing part about the inspection is that Children and young people in North Lincolnshire say they feel safe and know how to access help should they need it. Well done to everyone involved.”
Denise Hyde, director of People at North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“This fantastic result demonstrates the hard work and commitment of staff and partners to keeping children safer and taking care of our most vulnerable children. They have worked really hard to demonstrate that in North Lincolnshire, we are ambitious for our children.
“We are delighted with Ofsted’s findings, but recognise that there is always more to do and we will continue to strive to deliver the highest standard of service for our children, young people and families in North Lincolnshire.”
Notes to editors:
The report’s key findings include:
The overall effectiveness of services for looked after children are outstanding, as is the capacity to improve. Seven other areas were also judged to be outstanding. The remaining three were judged to be good.
The overall effectiveness of safeguarding services is good, and the capacity for further improvement is outstanding
The leadership and management ambition for the safety of children and young people is outstanding, with services for children remaining a key priority for the council.
Strategic partnership work through the Children’s Trust and Local Children Safeguarding Board (LSCB) are very strong, providing an ambitious vision and highly effective coordination.
The work in involving children and young people in driving forward the quality of services is outstanding.
Elected members have an excellent understanding of the needs of looked after children.
The five inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission examined 101 children’s case files during the inspection. They met with 53 children and young people receiving services and held discussions with front line staff and managers, senior officers, elected members, health partners, school head teacher staff and a range of community representatives.
North Lincolnshire Council is one of only two councils out of 125 councils inspected by Ofsted up to the end of May to achieve an outstanding grade for services to looked after children.
The overall result of the report puts North Lincolnshire among the best councils in the country.
On publication, the report can be found at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/north-lincolnshire.
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