Agenda item

Ofsted Inspection of Local Authority Children's Services (ILACS) Focussed Visit

(To receive a report from Debbie Barnes, Executive Director of Children's Services, which invites the Committee to consider the findings of the Ofsted Inspection of Local Authority Children's Services (ILACS) Focussed Visit)


The Committee gave consideration to a report from the Assistant Director, Safeguarding, which advised of the outcomes from the focussed visit from Ofsted in April 2018.  It was noted that the focus of the visit had been permanency planning; and achieving permanence for children in care.


The Committee was advised that Ofsted had implemented a new inspection regime for Local Authority Children's Services (ILACS) in January 2018, which had replaced the Single Inspection Framework (SIF).  The Committee was advised further under the ILACS framework, an authority would continue to be inspected every three years, but would also receive up to two focussed visits between inspections.  It was noted that a judgement was not awarded for a focussed visit.


It was reported that Lincolnshire's Children's Services had last been inspected under SIF in November 2014; and had achieved a judgement of 'good'.


Detailed at Appendix A to the report was a copy of the letter received from Ofsted relating to the Focused Visit to Lincolnshire Children's Services.  The letter had identified that overall leaders had ambitions for children in care; full details of their comments were shown in Appendix A.  The Committee was advised that a small number of areas, one being Mosaic had been highlighted as needing strengthening to ensure permanence for all children was achieved, and in a timely manner. 


The Committee was advised that an action plan would be put into place and issues would be turned round within the next 12 months.


During discussion, the Committee raised the following issues:-


·         Some concern was expressed to the IT problems social work teams were having, which was preventing them from doing their job.  The Committee was advised that Windows 10 was going to be rolled out to social work teams during August, which would help alleviate some of the problems. It was also reported that project support would also be put in to place;

·         Delays in placement when the child was subject to a care order.  Reassurance was given that the numbers were few (36 in total); and that these had already been reviewed and were being prepared for discharge; and

·         Reference was made to the last paragraph of the letter which acknowledged a working environment to support social work had enable social work to flourish.  The staff had manageable workloads, received regular supervision and appropriate training and development opportunities which had contributed to a supportive environment for social workers committed to working in Lincolnshire.  The Assistant Director, Safeguarding advised that a lot of work had gone in to ensure that social workers had manageable caseloads.  This had been helped as a result of lots of work around early intervention and prevention; Team Around the Child; and also Signs of Safety.  The Committee was advised that it had taken four years to achieve the current position.


On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman extended thanks to the Assistant Director, Safeguarding and her team for all their hard work.




That the outcomes of Ofsted Inspection of Local Authority Children's Services Focussed Visit be received and the comments raised be noted.

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