|Children’s services in Lancashire have been given an overall rate of ‘Good’.|
|Following an inspection of Lancashire County Council’s children’s services by Ofsted between 28th November to 9th December 2022, all categories of the service were rated as good.|
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said:
‘’This excellent report endorses the County Council’s passion and commitment to children, young people and families across Lancashire and our focus on continuously developing our services.
“Ofsted have recognised the huge improvements and financial investment we have made since our last inspection – with our service now ranked as ‘Good’ across the board and I want to congratulate all our children’s services colleagues on the brilliant feedback we have had.”
Here’s what the report said:
The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families (rated good)
“Senior leaders work closely with politicians who are child-focused and ensure that they are fully appraised on the strategic priorities for children. There has been significant investment and support at a corporate level, from the chief executive and members as well as close working with strategic partners, to improve services for children.”
The experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers (rated good)“Children who live in lasting homes (a term children in Lancashire prefer to be used) are helped to celebrate, so that they feel secure with their long-term families. Experienced and skilled practitioners use a range of tools to undertake sensitive and constructive direct work to capture children’s views, wishes and feelings and then incorporate these views in comprehensive and well-written plans. Opportunities for children to participate, be included and receive advocacy are positive and increasing.”
Jacqui Old CBE, Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services, said: “Our children’s services teams have been striving for continuous improvement and I am pleased to say that Ofsted has recognised this commitment in its report.
“It is down to the passion and dedication of our workforce that we have received a ‘good’ rating, but we will not be complacent. There are areas we must improve on, and we will take on the findings from the report to continue to ensure positive outcomes for children, young people and families in our county.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their incredible efforts to highlight the excellent work they do day in, day out – they should be really proud.”
The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection (rated good)
“Risks to children are carefully considered, and appropriate decisions are made. Management oversight is clear at each decision-making point. Appropriate information is shared, with children’s full circumstances considered, including the circumstances of siblings, to formulate plans to safeguard children’s welfare.”
County Councillor Cosima Towneley, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Our teams work incredibly hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families throughout our county.
“It is excellent to see Early Help services, our child-focused approach and the Family Safeguarding model receiving the recognition they deserve.”
Overall effectiveness (rated good)
“The improvements made have resulted in many of the recommendations from the previous inspection being comprehensively addressed. The local authority is focused on further improvement in its aspiration to achieve consistently high standards for children across the organisation.”
Angie Ridgwell, Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection.
“It reflects the focus, passion and dedication of our workforce to continuously improve our services. Making great things happen for our children and young people is a priority for us, and of course our children are the future of Lancashire.”
The full report is available here.