Children and families in North Lincolnshire have access to the best support in the country.
North Lincolnshire Council has been rated outstanding in all areas by Ofsted, with inspectors citing an “exemplary” commitment to children.
The council joins only four others nationally which have achieved the highest possible rating and marks 10 years of overall outstanding rating in North Lincolnshire.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The single most important thing we can do is enable all children here in North Lincolnshire to have the best possible start in life and then make sure the support exists through to adulthood.
“Everything we do is geared towards children staying in their families, their schools and their communities and ensuring when we need to step in and support, it is second to none.
“To hear inspectors refer to the commitment to children as exemplary is testament to the incredible work which takes place day in, day out across North Lincolnshire, it recognises the passion and drive towards improving the lives and experiences of children, young people and families.”
Ofsted, the national organisation which regulates and inspects schools and children’s services across the country, published its report on Friday, 25 November.
Inspectors said the latest ratings – which improved on already outstanding results – had been achieved by the “uncompromising and visionary political and executive leadership” who have an “unwavering ambition for children and families”.
The report continues, adding: “This united political and service leadership has successfully fostered a compassionate and caring culture which has become the bedrock of the council and the service”.
It is the third consecutive outstanding judgement the council has received, marking a decade of outstanding children’s service in North Lincolnshire.
Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for children and families said: “We are all exceptionally proud of all the team involved with children and families.
“In North Lincolnshire, children have a clear voice in decisions that affect their lives. I am delighted that children, young people, parents and carers had the opportunity to share their views on the services and support they receive and it is fantastic to hear their positive feedback.
“The findings from Ofsted are great news for staff, children, young people and families, but most importantly it means that we are all, together, improving the lives of the most precious things we have here in North Lincolnshire.”
The four categories judged as outstanding are: the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families; the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection; the experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers and overall effectiveness.
As part of the inspection process, children themselves said they felt loved and that they felt listened to – one young person said: “Children’s social care gave me a second chance to become the person I am today.”
Ann-Marie Matson, North Lincolnshire Council’s director of children and families said: “Our passionate, dedicated staff work tremendously hard, in often challenging times – through the importance of relationships, children, young people and families are at the heart of what we do.
“To be rated as outstanding, across all four judgements, and with no identified areas for improvement, is absolute testament to the passion and love they have for children and families and for ensuring that quality practice contributes to improving their lives and experiences.
“We remain ambitious for our children, young people and families. As an organisation, which is committed to listening, learning, reviewing and adapting, we will continue to develop and innovate so that they continue to flourish in their lives.”
Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care, said: “Today’s report is a testament to North Lincolnshire’s commitment to children and the positive culture they have created for social work to flourish.
“The leadership team, managers and frontline staff, the wider council and safeguarding partners can all be proud of the difference they have made to children and families.”