Oxfordshire County Council’s social care services for children have been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Inspectors who visited the council from April 29 to May 21 concluded it should be rated good across all three key categories of their inspection; children who need help and protection, children looked after (including adoption performance and experiences and progress of care leavers) and leadership, management and governance.
More than 3,100 children in Oxfordshire receive a specialist children’s service, 512 are the subject of a child protection plan and 467 are looked after by the county council.
The report made clear that the work done by the joint county council, Thames Valley Police and health service Kingfisher team to combat child sexual exploitation is “high quality”, and that “large numbers of professionals have been effectively trained to identify potential indications of child sexual exploitation”.
It also said that “good arrangements are in place to respond when children go missing from home and care”.
Jim Leivers, Oxfordshire County Council’s director for children, education and families, said: “Ofsted set very high standards. Our services for children have been judged to be good under the tougher inspection regime that Ofsted has brought in to raise standards. The rating is the result of hard work by everyone who works with children and families.”
The inspectorate has recommended that the council looks to recruit more foster carers so that looked after children can be placed in or near their own communities, develop and implement an ambitious strategy to ensure that care leavers engage in education, training and employment, ensure that children and young people who are looked after have an independent advocate to represent their views if they wish and improve educational outcomes for children in care.
For more information, see www.oxfordshire.gov.uk