One of the responsibilities of all county councillors is to our looked after children. These are children who have had a difficult start to life and need all the help that can be provided. How lucky our children are to be brought up in a caring, loving family. Not all children have that opportunity. With that in mind I was very pleased to see the results of the OfSTED inspection which provides assurance that the children of this county are getting the care and attention they deserve.
An inspection of safeguarding and looked after children services at the council has assessed the services as adequate overall with some good features. A team from OfSTED – the Office for Standards in Education – rated 26 of the inspected areas in the’ adequate category and 8 as ‘good’.
The inspection was one of the first carried out using the new OfSTED inspection methodology. Inspectors said the overall effectiveness of the safeguarding services was adequate, with statutory requirements being met, adding that improvements in services were taking place and that there is an accelerating pace of change. They emphasised that the commitment of partner agencies to the joint safeguarding and child protection agenda was strong.
Inspectors praised the ‘considerable efforts’ made towards establishing a clear vision, structures and detailed operational arrangements for its services. The inspectors remarked on the high morale of the children’s social care workforce.