Wokingham Borough Council’s children’s services are making significant improvements according to a recent focused visit by Ofsted looking into the practice of the council’s social workers and outcomes for children.
The visit, carried out remotely, focused on children subject to child in need or child protection plans and looked at a range of information, including case audits and records and holding case discussions with social workers.
Ofsted noted significant improvement since the last focused inspection two years ago, with “considerable advances in the quality of social work practice and outcomes for children.”
The letter goes on to state that “Competent and skilled social workers appreciate the improvements senior managers have made to the practice environment over the last two years”.
Recognition was given for the compass team, a specialist service launched in June 2020 for children on the edge of care to help keep families together, where possible.
Acknowledgment was also given to the way in which the service was able to react quickly to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the inspectors noting that Social Workers had been “promptly and well supported in adapting to remote working”.
Particular emphasis was given to the relationship that social workers build with the parents and children that they are working with, with Inspectors finding that “children’s voices, identities and experiences, and their wishes and hopes for the future are at the forefront of plans, reviews and management decisions”.
Cllr Graham Howe, executive member for children’s services, said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the most recent Ofsted visit and am proud of the team for delivering such a good service to safeguard the children of the borough.
“Demonstrating such a vast improvement since the previous visit two years ago, most of which has been during a global pandemic, is a huge achievement.
“The safety and wellbeing of our children across the borough is a key priority for the council, so I am pleased to know that we are doing a good job for those most in need."
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