OFSTED rates Cornwall’s children’s social care services as the best in the South West

Cornwall Council’s priority of putting children first has been endorsed by an Ofsted report, which has been released today (5th November).

The final report of the lead inspector gives the Council an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’, with improvements in all 4 areas judged. This puts children’s services in Cornwall in the top 10% of local authorities in the country and makes Cornwall the only authority to receive an outstanding rating in the South West.

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The inspectors stated: “Political and corporate leaders demonstrate strong commitment to children’s services, and have supported whole-council investment. Combined with the leadership team’s unwavering focus on continuous improvement, this has resulted in strengthened services.”

The report gives special mention to some of Cornwall’s most innovative services, including the Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) and Early Help Hub developed jointly with partners.

They also highlighted Gweres Tus Yownyk (Cornish for Helping Young People) which is the specialist adolescent service supporting young people on the edge of care; “Creative and innovative services have continued to flourish through Gweres tus Yowynk, the dedicated multi-agency edge of care service. A significantly improved focus on participation with children in care ensures that children’s voices are heard and acted on.”

Inspectors also praised social workers for the way they, “have a very good understanding of the children they work with; they visit them regularly” and “have good relationships with them”. They ensure, “the wish of the child is well recorded, which helps workers to provide the most appropriate help.”

Cabinet Member for Children Sally Hawken welcomed the judgement: “This is a wonderful achievement; Cornwall is now rated as one of the best children’s services in the country. This has been achieved thanks to the commitment of staff, partners and all those children, families and volunteer organisations who work with us to make our support so effective.

“I was particularly pleased with the way inspectors recognised how we engage with and listen to children and young people.

“Our aim is to provide the best start in life for children in Cornwall, building a foundation for their future selves and this is recognition that we are achieving this.”

Director of Children’s Services for Cornwall Council, Trevor Doughty, said: “Whilst this inspection is focussed on the Council’s children’s services, this achievement reflects the way the Council and its partners work together to improve the lives of children and young people in Cornwall. I am very proud of everyone involved.”

Service Director responsible for children’s social care in Cornwall, Jack Cordery, said: “This achievement is down to the dedication, hard work and skill of all the staff working on the front line, who go way beyond what is expected of them to help and protect the most vulnerable children of Cornwall.”

Story posted 5th November 2019