Ofsted boost for Children’s Services in Lincolnshire

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Lincolnshire County Council’s Children’s Services and the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board are providing good, effective, timely support for children and families.

That’s the message from the recent Ofsted report into the support provided to children, and their families and safeguarding services.

Lincolnshire’s is the second best Ofsted rating in the country since inspections became more stringent last year.

The inspection findings confirmed that children, young people and their families in Lincolnshire are supported with the right services at the right time.

Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services said: “I am pleased but not surprised by this report.

“The findings match our own knowledge about council’s children’s services.

“However, we’re always learning and continuously reviewing our services, to ensure we are aware of our strengths and our weaknesses.

“I’d like to thank our staff, who show real dedication and commitment to their work every day to support children and families.

“Thanks also to our partners who have prioritised the safeguarding of children and invested in this important work.”

Debbie Barnes, Director of Children’s Services, pledged the hard work would continue to achive further improvements.

She said: “Although we are delighted to have been rated as ‘good’, we can’t be complacent and are always looking at areas where we can improve.

“It’s important for children and families that through programmes such as Young Inspectors and our own improvement programmes, we continue to assess our own services to make sure they are effective and provide the right support.”

Chris Cook, Chair of the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board, added: “I’m pleased to see the report has confirmed that the health and safety of children and young people in Lincolnshire is a high priority and the effective support we give reflects this.

“Protecting those who are most vulnerable is never easy, but strong partnerships between all the agencies and robust governance and management means that services are making a difference in keeping children safe.”

The report highlighted adoption services as outstanding and said:

*the county council successful in ensuring timely adoption for children, when this is in the best interests of the child

*children are adopted quicker than the national average

*they are well prepared for their new families and offered effective adoption support.

Safeguarding is rated ‘good’ and seen as a clear key priority for the Lincolnshire Children Safeguarding Board and Children’s Services.

Ofsted said the service is:

*underpinned by effective governance and strong partnerships

*early help and social work assessments are strong and help is provided quickly

*where necessary, timely strategy discussions take place and always include the police, health and social care

*decisions made are safe and appropriate

*the authority engages well with children in direct work and in child protection conferences.