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Inspectors hail quality of Children's Services

Published: 10th Jul 2012

Please note this is an archived Press Release

INSPECTORS have lauded a council's work with some of its most vulnerable young people, in a new report published today (Tues July 10).

Government watchdog Ofsted highlighted several positive aspects of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's work with looked after children, as well as its safeguarding services for young people.

The praise followed an in-depth assessment of the vast array of services the authority provides.

The overall effectiveness of services for looked after children was rated "good", with the local Children & Young People's Trust (CYPT) said to have "high aspirations" for youngsters, always taking their views into account.

Robust action had been taken by the Council to address a shortage of in-house foster carers, while children and young people reported feeling safe in their placements and praised the quality of their care in a recent survey.

The report added that looked after children were also performing well academically, with the number achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C "consistently above similar authorities and the national average".

Youngsters were also given a strong voice through groups such as "Speak Up, Be Heard" and "Have Your Say", which allowed them to shape services affecting their lives.

Inspectors rated the authority "good" in nine out of the ten criteria assessed, also declaring its capacity to improve to be good.

They also found eight of the ten safeguarding services inspected to be good, but rated overall effectiveness "adequate", with capacity to improve "good".

The CYPT and Redcar & Cleveland Safeguarding Children Board were said to be well-established and there was "demonstrable and continued improvement in child protection services".

The report added: "There is clear evidence of children and young people's involvement in planning and shaping the development of safeguarding services."

Councillor Joan Guy, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education, said: "We are pleased that the inspectors have recognised many examples of effective work to protect some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

"This is testament to a lot of hard work by dedicated staff and our social workers, in particular, had their commitment highlighted in the report.

"However, we are not resting on our laurels - there were recommendations for further improvements and, of course, we will ensure that these are taken forward."

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