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Investment in social work apprenticeship praised as council goes from Inadequate to Good

Children's services in the East Riding receive ‘Good’ Ofsted judgement after a full inspection earlier this year.

30/03/23

Investment in social work apprenticeship praised as council goes from Inadequate to Good

Children's services across the East Riding have been rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted, less than three years after being told by inspectors they were ‘Inadequate’.

A full inspection of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's children's services took place earlier this year and Ofsted inspectors upgraded the rating of the services’ overall effectiveness following "significant and sustained changes in all the practice and leadership areas identified for improvement" in the previous inspection which took place in December 2019.

Going from a judgement of ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ is not common but inspectors acknowledged the work carried out by officers and "through the extensive engagement with external partners and scrutineers, the improvements in the service mean that children and young people in the East Riding receive a timely and effective response and intervention when they need it.”

The significant investment in the social work apprenticeship degree route was also praised with inspectors highlighting the "grow your own" approach to training contributed to succession planning and was a "careful and considered approach to retention and recruitment".

Inspectors described an improved culture within the organisation within the last two years, saying that “staff feel valued, listened to and part of the whole service”.

They also recognised that, since the last inspection, "senior leaders have significantly improved services to children" and there is "strong and caring leadership team in children's services that leads by example".

Inspectors highlighted the "bespoke" Make a Change team which has resulted in a significantly improved service for children at risk of exploitation and going missing while there is a "timely and effective response to concerns at the front door", a further issue highlighted in the 2019 inspection.

Eoin Rush, Executive Director of Children, Families and Schools at East Riding of Yorkshire Council welcomed the judgement, saying it was a “great achievement” and a “huge credit to our workforce and partners”.

"The poor inspection outcome in 2019, gave us all cause to reflect and think about how we were doing and what we were doing but it also garnered a real determination across the whole of the service area to make sure we do better for our children and young people.

Mr Rush added that the 2019 inspection was the beginning of a “very challenging, but important, improvement journey.”

"The key principles that underpinned this journey were that we would not look for quick fixes, we would reflect on the culture within our organisation and also make use of all the help we could get from partners, external agencies and of course, work with Ofsted.

"Many children and young people go through a journey with our services, often starting with early help and Ofsted have confirmed those arrangements are really effective.

"Many children come into our services through our front door. The front door was a point of real weakness in 2019 and Ofsted have confirmed it's now a point of real strength.

"Workers know their children well and critically, the help and support offered is provided through the really good relationships that our front-line practitioners and managers build with children and their families.

"This approach helps to make sure that we properly understand the family's world and can provide support and help that is both meaningful and effective.

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