Improvement Plan Board Update - 3 December 2019
Posted: Wednesday 8th January 2020
Audit outcomes and themes
Post Ofsted inspection, work has been done to establish a fit for purpose business function for auditing. All post holders are now in place, we are continuing to drive up standards of practice and are developing a Quality Assurance framework and training. Internal auditors have begun completing audits, compliance has been low but it is gradually improving. There is work yet to be done with auditors to attain full compliance and strategic leads are continuously following this up.
Director of Children’s Services Progress Report
- A workshop was held with Partners in Practice Cheshire West and Chester in November to start the conversation around the development of the Early Help Offer. A group made up of multi-agency partners is now going out and engaging widely for more views as they develop the model.
- Teams are being reconfigured to improve response times in future particularly around Child Protection conferences.
- Many frontline staff are agency workers but the council is constantly working on recruiting permanent staff.
Department for Education stocktake feedback
The Department for Education 6 monthly visit took place on 12th November. Key Messages:
- Real commitment to improvement
- Understanding of causes of failure
- Positive progress at front door (Children’s First Response)
- Need to establish permanent social workers
- Clear roles and responsibilities
- Progress being made in how the council and partners use data.
- The group looked in more detail at Children in Care as it’s ‘Spotlight Topic’ recognising
improvements in performance around stability of placements, numbers of children in care and numbers of children placed in residential children’s homes. Work is needed on the
system, improved consistency across the service and to reduce the time taken for children being placed with parents moving onto Special Guardianships.
- It was noted that there is a really good mix of partners attending the Board and a strong
collective commitment and desire to make the improvements needed
- The next Improvement Board meeting is on 14th January 2020