Suffolk’s children’s services getting better according to latest Ofsted report

Cabinet member for children Gordon Jones welcomed the new Ofsted report.

Cabinet member for children Gordon Jones welcomed the new Ofsted report. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council’s services for children has been rated good by Ofsted inspectors – but there are still elements of its work that require improvements.

The overall rating, following an inspection in November and December last year, is that the services for children in care are “Good” – putting Suffolk in the top 22% of councils across the country.

Ofsted’s report says: “Leaders have a comprehensive understanding of what needs to be achieved and have made sustained progress since the inspection of services for looked after children in 2010 and child protection in 2013, which both were judged to be adequate”.

The report says:

Strong leadership is leading to improved outcomes for children, young people and families.

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Early help services for children and their families are good.

Substantial improvement in services for looked after children has been achieved since the inspection in 2010.

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Assessing new risk for children in care is a high priority.

Social workers act quickly to ensure that children are safe.

The adoption service in Suffolk is well run.

Parents say they receive the right sort of help when they need it.

However there are two elements that inspectors feel need improvement.

It says that while some aspects of services for children needing help and protection have considerable strengths, outcomes are not consistently good.

Improvement is required to ensure that children in need and children on a child protection plan benefit from consistently good assessment and planning, and that this is evident in case records.

And services for care leavers require improvement to ensure that they are all in suitable and stable accommodation and have clear plans for their futures.

Cabinet Member for children Gordon Jones said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have received a GOOD rating from Ofsted.

“This achievement is testament to the work and commitment of all our staff at the authority and the support they receive from local community partners who share our drive and focus to protect vulnerable children and young people in Suffolk, and support families.

“The inspection team’s feedback demonstrates that we are listening to the children and families we work for and their views and experiences are positively shaping the way we do things.”

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