Improvement continues at Northamptonshire Children's ServicesChildren and families
10 December 2021
The latest Ofsted monitoring inspection shows Children’s Services in Northamptonshire are continuing to improve and that senior leadership have realistic plans in place which are already proving successful.
In the second monitoring visit since the foundation of Northamptonshire’s two unitary authorities in April, Ofsted inspectors focussed on was Children in Care aged 16+ and Care Leavers during their visit at the beginning of November.
In a letter to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and North Northamptonshire Councils, inspectors said: “Senior leaders demonstrate in their recently updated self-assessment that they know their services well and are committed to improving the lives of children and young people.
“Improvement plans are realistic and continue to be implemented with success despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”
Inspectors did recognise there are still improvements to be made and that the quality of the service was still too variable, but said senior leaders have realistic plans in place to address this.
Much of what we need to do to is to improve consistency of practice and the recruitment and retention of staff.Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families, and education
The inspectors acknowledge we are relentlessly pursuing a recruitment campaign which will result in better workloads for staff and better outcomes for children and young people in this county.
A lot of hard work has gone into improving the service, so it is pleasing to see that work beginning to pay-off.Cllr Scott Edwards, NNC’s Executive Member for children, families, education and skills
But we cannot rest on our laurels, there is still much work to be done, but I am confident the foundations are in place for the high-quality service children and young people in this county deserve.
Everyone at Northamptonshire Children’s Trust is passionate about providing the very best level of care to the county’s children and young people and this inspection shows we are continuing on the right path.Julian Wooster, Chair of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust
Social work can be an extremely rewarding job and I would urge skilled, experienced social work practitioners to join us and help achieve our ambitions of providing the highest possible level of care to our children and young people.
Inspectors also praised the strengthened Corporate Parenting Board acknowledging its role in the establishment of Council tax discount schemes for care leavers for care leavers, for adding partners to increase the profile of corporate parenting, but also for recognising shortfalls by planning to increase the number of care leavers on the board.
The letter from Ofsted is available to read online.
Northamptonshire Children’s Trust is currently offering welcome bonuses for anyone joining the team.