Brighton & Hove City Council’s social care services for children have been judged ‘good’ by Ofsted for the first time.
During a three-week inspection in July inspectors found that:
- Children in need of early help and children in need of protection receive prompt and appropriate help
- Social workers are tenacious in seeking to build meaningful relationships with children
- Social workers’ morale is high, and they enjoy working here
- They and their managers are aspirational for the children in their care and demonstrate a strong focus on improving their experiences and outcomes
- Young people have good access to a range of housing and living options.
- The council provides a joined-up response to the needs of vulnerable children and families, with strong cross-party political support
Ofsted had previously praised the council’s special educational needs and disability services, and given ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ ratings for short break and nursery provision.
The city also has a much higher than average percentage of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school Ofsted reports.
The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Dan Chapman, said: “We’ve made a number of improvements to our children’s social care services in recent years, and I’m delighted that Ofsted has acknowledged this.
“Above all, I’m thrilled that the commitment and tenacity of our social work teams has been so clearly recognised.”
The council’s executive director of families, children and learning, Pinaki Ghoshal, said: “Our social care culture focuses on developing strong relationships with children and their families, listening, learning and guarding against complacency.
“We have put in place robust performance management and quality assurance arrangements.
“We’re also engaging better with parents, children and young people and taking their feedback into account when we change things.
“We have a great team in place here. All our staff are committed to giving the children and young people they work with the very best start in their lives.”