Birmingham children's services continue to improve

Published: Thursday, 29th March 2018

An Ofsted report following a fourth monitoring visit of children’s services has found Birmingham City Council is maintaining progress already made with ‘further improvement evident in specific areas'

Continued improvements to Birmingham children's services
Birmingham children's services continue to improve - Ofsted

Ofsted inspectors visited earlier this month and reviewed the progress made in the area of ‘children in care’.

The report found that children are brought into care appropriately and most children’s plans are made in a timely basis. The more stable workforce and reduced caseloads have improved the quality of practice, the report added.

It also found that:

  • Appropriate and timely action is taken through the Family Court when necessary
  • There was effective use of fostering to adopt placements
  • Quality of care plans are still not consistently good
  • Social work staff spoke positively about the children they work with and are able to identify their strengths
  • Whilst in many cases there is evidence of good partnership working there are too many examples of partners not doing enough to help individual children and families

While the report said that further work needs to be done to ensure practice is consistently good, it made clear that ‘the authority has maintained and made some further improvements to the quality of social work practice since the last inspection’.

Alastair Gibbons, director of operations at Birmingham Children’s Trust, said: “I’m pleased to see that Ofsted has once again confirmed our steady progress; Birmingham staff continue to work really hard to make sure those children and families in need are helped and supported. There is always more to do but we have once again from Ofsted tangible evidence of the progress we are making. I would like to thank all staff for their dedicated work with children in the city.”

This is the last monitoring visit before Birmingham Children’s Trust goes live on 1 April, though Ofsted will continue to carry out three-monthly monitoring visits to the Trust until early 2019 when a full inspection is expected.