Children services praised

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Thurrock Council has received positive feedback on its Children’s Social Services following a review by Ofsted.

The Focused Visit, which took place on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 September, inspected the council’s services for children in need and those subject to a child protection
plan to evaluate the quality of practice.

Following publication of Ofsted’s Inspection of Children’s Social Care in March 2016, many areas of the service were praised during the Ofsted Focused Visit in September 2018.

The areas that were praised include the recruitment of a culturally diverse, permanent workforce and it was noted that social workers liked working in Thurrock.

The report noted that social workers have a clear understanding of practice standards and complete comprehensive assessments.

Ofsted recognised senior leaders for introducing a strengths-based model of practice and having a clear understanding of what needs to be done to further improve the service.
Social Workers stated that they like working in Thurrock and value the support and help provided by their managers.

While strengths of the service were acknowledged, areas such as workload pressures and children’s access to advocacy services were identified as areas for further development.

Cllr Sue Little, Portfolio Holder for Social Services, said: “It’s great to see that our work on improvements has been acknowledged and that Ofsted have seen how our children’s social services have continued to improve since they last visited the borough two years ago.

“From the Ofsted inspection 2016 report it’s clear that improvements have been seen across many key areas.

Hard work

“The early signs suggest that learning from auditing and performance monitoring is having a positive impact on work and staff and is most importantly improving practice and care of our most vulnerable.

“We continue to work hard to ensure our social workers feel supported in their role and are provided with a strong array of training, personal development opportunities and monthly supervision to enable them to support vulnerable children.

“We welcome the feedback from the inspection and will continue to build on all our progress in the coming months and years.

“I would like to thank all the staff in our social work teams for their hard work and dedication to supporting vulnerable families in Thurrock.

“ We have a team to be proud of.”

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