Government inspectors Ofsted have published a report on children’s services provided by Borough of Poole.
The Ofsted report follows an in-depth inspection of children's services in September and October. The inspection found that services for children 'require improvement to be good'.
In summary, Ofsted found that:
- Senior leaders have worked purposefully to implement changes to sustain and improve outcomes for children
- Adoption services and support for care leavers are strong
- Vulnerable children benefit from comprehensive and co-ordinated early support
- Staff act quickly to protect children at risk from serious harm
- The council and police have significantly strengthened the response to the risk of child sexual exploitation, so children are better supported and protected
Inspectors identified the council’s staff as a ‘real strength’ on which to sustain and build improvements to the service. They also highlighted that social workers see children regularly, build trusting relationships, undertake creative, child-centred direct work and listen to their concerns.
The Ofsted report makes a number of recommendations to ensure that outcomes for children across children’s services in Poole are consistently good.
Cllr Mike White, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, Borough of Poole, said: “The Ofsted inspectors identified many strengths within the services the council provides for children in Poole, especially for those who are most vulnerable and in need of our support and protection. It’s particularly pleasing that the inspectors recognised the great work of our social workers in listening to children when helping those families in need of our support.
“We are committed to improving outcomes for all children in the borough and will use the findings of this report to further raise the standard of our service.”
A separate review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) for Bournemouth and Poole, conducted at the same time has also been published. Ofsted inspectors judged the LSCB to be ‘good’.
Sarah Elliott, Independent Chair of the Bournemouth and Poole Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: “I am pleased that Ofsted found the LSCB to be good and in particular the commitment of local partners, including Borough of Poole, to effective safeguarding arrangements. The safety and wellbeing of children and young people is of paramount importance and it is encouraging to note the many examples Ofsted identified of the LSCB holding partners to account to achieve this.”