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13 June 2017, 12:27
Kent County Council has been rated good overall by Ofsted after an inspection of the services it provides for vulnerable youngsters in the county.
That is despite the pressures county faces of having to look after hundreds of child asylum seekers who have arrived in Kent over the past two years.
Twelve Ofsted inspectors spent more than three weeks visiting KCC children’s service centres and meeting staff, parents and children across the county during March.
The conclusions of their report included:
The local authority tackled the increase demand on children’s services effectively
Social workers develop strong and constructive relationships with children
Despite the influx of unaccompanied child asylum seekers (UASC) effective commissioning arrangements and monitoring of external placements, alongside the fostering recruitment strategy, is working to increase the range of local placements
Political leaders have been responsive to budget pressures, supporting increased financial investment
Services provided by KCC were graded as good across all areas, with the exception of that of Help and Protection where improvements are required in the promptness of interventions, the variable quality of some assessments and the effectiveness of Adolescent Risk Management Panels (ARMs).
All of these issues together with the response to the report’s recommendations are being addressed within an ongoing practice development plan.
Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, said: “Since our previous Ofsted inspection in 2013, we have worked extremely hard to get to this stage of which we can be proud.
“The welfare of children and young people across this county is the Council’s top priority. We are not complacent and will continue to work hard and improve the lives of children in Kent.”