Ofsted praises children’s services in Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire County Council's children's services have been praised by Ofsted.
Children potentially at risk or in need of support across the county are well served by the county’s children’s services teams.
The vast majority of children and their families receive quick and appropriate responses from the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), when enquiries for early help and support and safeguarding concerns are received.
These are the findings of Ofsted following a visit to Nottinghamshire County Council children’s services earlier this year.
The inspectors looked at the council’s arrangements for front door responses to contacts and referrals of children potentially at risk, considering a range of evidence including discussions with social workers and MASH officers, observations of frontline practice like the daily domestic abuse meeting and looking at children’s case records.
The visit also revealed that staff morale in the MASH and assessment teams was high and that senior management ensured social workers had manageable workloads.
Commenting on the Ofsted visit, Councillor Philip Owen, chairman of the Council’s Children and Young People’s committee, said: “I would like to congratulate staff on the positive outcome to the Ofsted visit in January. It is particularly pleasing that the inspectors identified that staff morale was high, in no small part, this is due to the effective management by senior managers of their caseloads.
“It is also gratifying that Ofsted has recognised the thresholds that we have set for intervention are set at the correct levels.
“It is particularly pleasing that senior leaders have a good oversight and understanding of operational practices.
“It is also important to acknowledge that Ofsted has found areas for improvement and we will concentrate on these to improve our decision making across the whole of children’s services.
“On the whole, it is reassuring to know that children in Nottinghamshire are as safe as they can be, but we must never lose sight of the fact that we must continue to drive improvement where required.”
Colin Pettigrew, Corporate Director for Children and Families at Nottinghamshire County Council, said that the robust visit took place over 2 days and was carried out by highly experienced inspectors.
He added: “They looked at a significant number of cases and visited offices across the width and breadth of the county, observing and interviewing staff, in short, it was a thorough exploration of our work.
“All of our staff, including those who support our social workers in whatever way in their complex task should take great pride from the content of this letter and I have written to all staff thanking them.
“The inspectors commented on many good areas of work. The few areas that they identified needing further improvement were known to us, and we are confident that a few weeks later, we have made significant strides towards those improvement targets.”