Hampshire County Council has welcomed the outcome of Ofsted’s recent inspection of its Children’s Services which has resulted in a rating of outstanding across all areas – which means children in Hampshire’s care are safe and well looked after.
The inspection took place between 29 April and 3 May 2019 with the Inspectors finding that since the last full inspection in 2014, Hampshire’s Children’s Services have continued to improve the help, care and protection provided to children.
Inspectors reported how the County Council’s social workers are highly skilled at building meaningful relationships with children and that children in care benefit from high-quality support, which is making a real difference to their lives. Alongside this, Ofsted credited the County Council’s strong political and corporate support – and how the well-targeted financial investment has enabled the Service’s leadership team to implement an ambitious transformation programme. All of which has led to strengthened services, ensuring that the right help is available at the right time from the right people.
Commenting, Leader of Hampshire County Council, and former Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “This is really excellent news. We have always been proud of the high standard of children’s services delivered in Hampshire and of our reputation as one of the highest performing authorities in this area of work – evident in the many partnerships that we have with other councils who have sought our guidance and expertise to help further improve their own services. This is quite simply the best possible rating that Ofsted can give across all of the key judgements. We are very proud.
“On behalf of the Authority, I would like to congratulate and thank Director, Steve Crocker, and Assistant Director, Stuart Ashley, for their exceptional leadership of the service, as well as all the staff who work extremely hard to do their very best for Hampshire’s vulnerable children and young people. As Ofsted has commented “children’s lives consistently improve as a result of the help they receive” and this would not happen without the skill and professionalism of those who support them and their commitment to continually improving practice.”
Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said: “This is a magnificent achievement, which reflects the hard work and tenacity of all those working in children’s services at Hampshire County Council. Children and families across the county have had a positive difference made to their lives because of the help they’ve received. I’d like to congratulate all those who contributed to this achievement.”
The report published today (11 June 2019) comes at a time when the County Council is working with over 10,000 children, young people and their families in need of specialist children’s social care services.
Among the many strengths highlighted in the report, Hampshire’s Children’s Services are recognised for having:
• High quality services that improve the lives of children and young people in need of help or protection, whatever their level of need;
• Tailored and highly effective help from intensive support workers which benefits children with more complex needs;
• Social workers who are highly skilled at building and sustaining consistent and enduring relationships with children;
• A highly effective strategic and operational partnership response to vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation;
• Good support for 16 and 17 year olds who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
• Dedicated and effective support for care leavers, resulting in a marked improvement in the proportion of care leavers who are in employment, education and training;
• A confident, strong leadership team, with an unwavering focus on improvement and senior leaders that recognise their greatest asset is their staff and who have invested heavily in the workforce.