Among the best in the country, Wolverhampton Children’s Social Services praised

Social care standards for children in Wolverhampton are among the best in the country, the results of an official survey have revealed. Senior council leaders are celebrating an overall ‘good’ rating of services in the city following a two-week inspection by Ofsted.

The local authority is only the second in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating in one of the sub-judgment categories (impact of leaders on social work practice). Councilor Beverley Momenabadi (Lab. Ettingshall), Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This is another very positive assessment of children’s social services in Wolverhampton.

“He recognizes not only the vital work the council and its partners do, day in and day out, for our city’s most vulnerable children, youth and their families, but also the very real impact it has on the improving their lives. We are committed to continuing the journey of improvement we have embarked on over the past few years – including throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – to raise standards even higher.

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“We are delighted that the inspectors have highlighted innovative and exceptional areas and we welcome their recommendations in areas where we can still improve. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those working in the services to Children, both within the council and partner organisations, for their continued dedication to ensuring that our children and young people can have the best possible start in life,” she added.

Five areas needing improvement were highlighted in the report:

  • The methods of monitoring and follow-up of children absent from school.
  • Recording of back-to-home interviews to identify broader patterns and trends.
  • The virtual school should improve the quality of the Personal Education Plans (PEP) and remedy the persistent absence of certain children in care.
  • The virtual school is to ensure that children in care receive career advice earlier so they can make more informed decisions about their future.
  • The quality of information provided to homeless children aged 16 and 17 about their rights and entitlements, including being looked after.

In a report to cabinet members, Alison Hinds, deputy director of child welfare, said: ‘This inspection covers the experience and progress of children in need of help and protection, the experience and progress of children in care and leavers, and the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families.Wolverhampton is the second best performing local authority in the wider West Midlands, just behind Telford and Wrekin and one of only two boards that got ‘good’ in the WMCA.”

Chief Inspector Andy Waugh and a team from Ofsted carried out the inspection between March 21 and April 1. The chiefs of staff will acknowledge receipt of the findings next Wednesday (June 15) while setting out an action plan to submit to Ofsted by August 26.

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