A Government minister has praised Brighton and Hove City Council after its children’s social care department was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
It had previously been graded ‘requires improvement’ in 2015, but inspectors said positive changes had been made after a three-week inspection in July this year.
In a letter to council leader Daniel Yates, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi MP, described the ‘good’ Ofsted judgement as a ‘very positive outcome’.
He said: “The report also demonstrates the impressively high aspirations the council has for children in care and care leavers, who are entering further and higher education at rates above those of national comparators.”
Related stories: Children’s social services in Brighton and Hove rated ‘good’
Ofsted’s national director of social care, Yvette Stanley, has described the council’s recent ‘good’ judgement as a ‘significant achievement’.
In a letter to the council’s executive director of children’s services, Pinaki Ghoshal, she said: “I am sure that the good inspection outcome reflects the hard work and tenacity, of yourself, your leadership team, managers and frontline staff, as well as the wider council and your safeguarding partners.
“You should all be proud of the positive difference you have made for the children and families of Brighton and Hove.
“Please pass on my congratulations to all the Brighton and Hove colleagues who have contributed to this achievement as well as extending my personal thanks to all the staff, children, foster carers and wider stakeholders who participated in the inspection process.
“Please also accept my very best wishes for the next phases of your continuous improvement journey.”
Ofsted said social workers’ morale was high and that they demonstrated real job satisfaction; managers were aspirational for those in their charge and had a real desire to improve experiences and outcomes.
It said young people had good access to a range of housing and living options, and the council’s families, children and learning team had worked effectively to improve services and provide a cohesive response to the needs of children and families.
The inspectors also said that senior leaders were already alert about all areas requiring improvement, so they knew their services well.
But the latest report still recommends improvements. Specifically, Ofsted said these could be made in: case recording; the response to children in need; the progression of pre-proceedings work; the response to children missing from home or care; and the allocation of private fostering and care leaver cases to workers.