Southampton's Children's Services 'Still Need Improvement'

Vulnerable children in Southampton are still not getting good enough care and protection, according to a new report by the watchdog.

Ofsted says the City Council has made changes since services were rated 'inadequate' in April last year but things like management and recording of cases still need to improve. The most recent inspection was carried out in July.

The council says it's 'working to radically transform the service' and continued improvement is a 'top priority.'

Alison Elliott, Director of People at the council, said:

“Southampton City Council welcomes the findings of Ofsted’s recent inspection and their judgement that children’s services in the city require improvement to be good.

"While the Ofsted inspection highlighted areas where we need to improve performance, the report also acknowledges the significant progress already made to improve children’s services in Southampton.

"In April 2013 children’s services were assessed as being ‘inadequate’. Since then, we have been working to radically transform the service and this remains the council’s top priority. We are pleased that Ofsted’s inspectors saw evidence of the good quality work that we do every day, including our proactive approach to providing early help to families and meeting the needs of our looked after children.

"In March this year we launched the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, which sees all agencies involved in child protection in Southampton working together to reduce the risks to children. We have also successfully reduced our reliance on temporary agency social workers, with nine out of ten social workers now permanent employees of the council.

"The foundations for ongoing improvement are now firmly in place. Our aim is that if Ofsted were to inspect children’s services in 18 months’ time they would judge us as ‘good’.”

You can download and read the full report by clicking here.

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