Ofsted praises Coventry children’s services with ‘good’ rating – Coventry City Council

Coventry City Council’s children’s services have been rated as “good” following its latest inspection.

The grading comes after an intensive three-week inspection involving nine inspectors and showed a marked improvement since the last inspection five years ago when services were described as ‘requires improvement to be good’.

But the inspection found that the Council services supporting some of the most vulnerable in the city had “improved in all areas” with all areas rated as “good.”

The report says: “There is strong political commitment to children’s services across the whole council. Significant investment has been made to develop a multi-agency early help hub that cover all wards.

“The voice of the child is important in Coventry and there is a strong participation offer that ensures that children’s voices are heard and listened to at all levels of the local authority.

“Most children enter care when they need to and live in appropriate and permanent placements that meet their needs. As a result, most children have improving experiences, progress and outcomes.”

The report continues: “Most children in care benefit from committed social workers who know their children well and take great pride in their achievements.

“Senior leaders’ drive and determination have led to improved services for children and families in Coventry. This has created an environment in which relationship-based and restorative social work is embedded throughout children’s services.

“This is an important change in the culture and focus of the organisation since the last inspection, which has led to most children experiencing improved outcomes.”

The strength in relationships between Coventry City Council and partner agencies such as health and the police is also a strong theme from the report.

It says: “Strong multi-agency working in the local authority protects children from exploitation. This is a real strength, with particularly strong links between children’s services and the police leading to effective mapping and disruption work.

“The MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) is well managed and provides an effective and timely response to contacts and referrals.”

It continues: “Children’s participation is a real strength in this local authority. Children and young people are involved in social work and councillor training. Young people are now involved in the commissioning work that is currently taking place with CAMHS around mental health and emotional well-being provision for care leavers.

“All of this ensures that children’s services in Coventry are responsive to children and young people’s needs.”

Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We are delighted with the report from Ofsted. It shows the incredible amount of hard work and care that has gone into improving Children’s Services in the city from our own incredibly dedicated staff through to the wide-ranging partners we work with.

“Everyone should be proud of the achievements and the progress made, but this is not the end of our journey. The children and families in Coventry deserve the very best and we will continue to strive to improve to achieve ‘outstanding’ next time.

“I am passionate about improving services for children and it is clear there is a commitment from politicians, partners and staff to make a real difference to ensure that children are at the heart of everything we do, and that they continue to receive the help and support that makes a difference to their lives.”

John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services, said: “This rating has only been made possible with the support of our amazing young people, their families and their carers and through our work with partners. We have worked as One Coventry to improve outcomes for the children and young people of the city and will continue to do so.

“We would like to thank all colleagues and partners for the work they have done over the course of our journey to ‘good’.  It has been hard work, but everyone has tackled it head on with such enthusiasm and dedication. The needs of the children and their families have driven everything we have done.

“We have a lot to be proud of, but we will study the report and work on those areas that can be improved and continue our work to give the best service possible to the children and young people of Coventry and their families.”

The full report can be read online on Ofsted’s website.

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