Ofsted note continued progress in improving services for children and young people in Birmingham

Published: 7th Sep 2018

An Ofsted report has found Birmingham Children’s Trust ‘is continuing to make some progress in improving services for its children and young people’.

An Ofsted report following a sixth monitoring visit of children’s services this August, has found Birmingham Children’s Trust ‘is continuing to make some progress in improving services for its children and young people’.

The report noted progress in services for children subject to children in need or child protection plans, stating that ‘no children were seen to be at immediate risk’, and that since the last inspection ‘the Trust has demonstrated that it has made some continued improvements in the quality of social work practice’.

This is the second monitoring visit made by Ofsted to Birmingham Children’s Trust, after Birmingham City Council placed the delivery of children’s social care in an independent trust in April 2018.

Inspectors spoke with Trust staff and managers, including social work staff, and electronic case records, supervision files and other information was considered as part of the monitoring visit.

The report noted the Trust had introduced a new practice evaluation process to focus on the quality of work undertaken and the impact on outcomes for children, noting this was ‘a positive move and should encourage and support a dialogue about good practice’, but added that further work needs to take place to fully embed this new process.

The report also found that:

  • The Trust continues to make progress in ensuring that its services for children and families continue to improve, and that senior managers understand that further work is required to ensure the standards in Birmingham continue to improve.
  • In almost all cases thresholds for intervention are appropriately applied and no children were seen at immediate risk or experiencing significant drift.
  • More engagement with partners is evident in multi-agency forums, but consistency of these needs to improve to ensure they are effective.
  • Assessment of needs are timely and lead to appropriate plans for support and intervention, and pre-birth assessments are leading to timely interventions including, where necessary, alternative care arrangements.

Andy Couldrick, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Trust said:

“It is reassuring to read that Ofsted’s latest monitoring visit has found that there is clear evidence of progress being made in the improvement of services for children and young people in Birmingham. “We fully understand that there are still areas to develop and we will continue to drive improvement across all our services we provide. “Our staff continue to work hard to improve the quality of social work practice, right across the Trust, and I want to thank them for their dedication and focus on improving outcomes for our children, young people and families.”

Councillor Kate Booth, Cabinet Member for Children’s Wellbeing at Birmingham City Council added:

“I am happy to see that improvements in services for children and young people are being sustained by the Trust. This latest monitoring visit has highlighted progress being made and areas where improvements are needed, and I am confident that these areas are being addressed and action is taking place. One of the key areas that needs to progress is engagement with partner organisations, and whilst we know there is work to do here, the initial signs of progress are encouraging.”

The latest assessment report is now available to view in full on the Ofsted website; scroll to 'latest assessment/report' - publication date 7 September 2018. 

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