Unannounced Ofsted Inspection Finds...
Wednesday 4th August
Since June 2009, Ofsted have been carrying out
unannounced inspections on local authorities. Bedford Borough
Council Children’s Services inspection was conducted on 6th and 7th
July 2010, and the findings were very positive. There were no areas
of ‘Priority Action’ found, and the inspection discovered several
significant areas of strength.
The inspection sampled the quality and
effectiveness of contact, referral and assessment arrangements and
their impact on minimising any child abuse and neglect. Inspectors
considered a range of evidence, including: electronic case records;
supervision files and notes; observation of social workers and
senior practitioners undertaking referral and assessment duties;
and other information provided by staff and managers. Inspectors
also spoke to a range of staff including managers, social workers,
other practitioners and administrative staff.
Bedford Borough Council’s front line social
work teams were noted as having particular strengths in assessments
and service delivery which was consistent and comprehensive and
took good account of the cultural diversity of children and
families and the needs of service users with disabilities. The
duty, referral and assessment staff demonstrated good morale and
work effectively and flexibly together.
The assessment also highlighted that ‘Good
quality intervention by the Emergency Duty Team ensures a
consistent and co-ordinated response to meet the needs of
vulnerable children and families’ which is noted as a crucial
part of the service due to it being the first point of contact
between possible vulnerable children and that of the service out of
Cllr David Sawyer, Portfolio Holder for
Children’s Services at Bedford Borough Council said: “I was
delighted to hear about Ofsted’s very successful unannounced
inspection of our Children’s Safeguarding Services. I am fully
aware this was very much a team effort across Children’s Services
and would particularly like to attribute recognition to our Intake
and Assessment team and the Children with Disability team.
I have known personally for some time about
the high quality of the services being provided, and it is very
rewarding that this has now been externally recognised and