Ofsted rates Essex children’s services as ‘good’

07:31 26 March 2014

Ofsted has rated Essex County Council’s children’s services as ‘good’.

The inspection, carried out in January and February, which specifically looked at services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers.

It follows a new inspection framework reaching three key judgements of which Essex achieved ‘good’ in all categories:

1. The experience of children in need, help and protection

2. The experience of children looked after and achieving permanence

3. Leadership, management and governance.

Essex County Councillor Dick Madden, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the ‘good’ rating that Essex has received. This is incredibly high praise for all those social workers and employees that have worked tirelessly to improve services for Essex children and I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism.

“Over the past three years we have been on a continuous improvement journey to ensure children in Essex are safe, supported and protected and today’s rating shows we are on the right path to ensuring our services are ultimately outstanding.”

Cllr Madden added: “I’m particularly proud of the work of the senior management team, who have been instrumental in driving the significant improvement in children’s services across the county.

“I’m also pleased that Ofsted recognised the way we put children and young people at the heart of everything we do, involving them in improving and developing services and making sure their voice is heard.”

Dave Hill, Essex County Council’s director of children’s services, said: “Being a social worker can be difficult, emotionally draining, challenging and frustrating but on days like today we can all hold our heads high and recognise that we are making a huge positive difference to the lives of children in Essex.

“It is a fantastic achievement for our employees and I would personally like to thank them for their efforts.

“Over the last few years Essex has really listened to its social workers; we’ve worked hard to reduce caseloads, improve training and development, improve supervision and invested heavily in improving social work practice.

“We work closely with partners to share information and best practice and improve outcomes for children. Essex is a great place to practice social work and now is a great time to come and join our workforce.”

The Ofsted report is available to view in full at ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/essex

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