Ofsted’s latest monitoring visit of Tower Hamlets Council’s children’s services has noted improvements but there is still work to be done.
Last year Ofsted published a report that was highly critical of children’s services in the borough.
The monitoring visit took place between 12th and 13th December 2017.
In a letter to the Head of Children’s Services Ofsted states that a ‘relentless focus’ by senior managers is ensuring better compliance with statutory requirements and there is a change in the culture of children’s services.
Staff more focused
Social workers are more focused on making sure that children’s opinions and their experiences are understood and acted on although this is weaker in multi-agency case conferences and core groups.
The majority of staff the Ofsted inspectors spoke to agreed with the new initiatives but their work suffers from their own ‘lack of clarity’ of how some of the new initiatives work.
Workload still a problem
Heavy caseloads were still an obstacle to producing consistently good work many social workers told the Ofsted team. This may be partly avoided in future by moving away from an over-reliance on the use of agency workers.
Commenting on the conclusions of the Ofsted visit John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:
Greater financial investment
“Protecting vulnerable children is a top priority for the council. When I became Mayor we identified many areas for improvement. In our budget last year I committed over £4.6m to children’s services. Since then we have stepped up our efforts and we are investing a further £5.2m as part of this year’s budget proposals to keep our children safe.
You can read the full Ofsted letter here (PDF).
Related Internet Links
Ofsted ‘encouraged’ by progress at Tower Hamlets children’s services – Tower Hamlets Council