Date Published: 15 May 2019
Rutland County Council is acting quickly and decisively to protect children at risk from harm according to the findings of a routine Ofsted visit that reviewed local Children’s Services, earlier this year.
Ofsted conducted a pre-arranged visit to review Rutland County Council’s Children’s Services on 19 March 2019.
Inspectors looked at a number of important areas including the Council’s arrangements for contacts and referrals, the quality of its assessments and early plans, and support for children at risk of exploitation.
In a letter summarising their findings from the visit, inspectors confirmed that: “Child protection investigations are timely, children at risk of significant harm are seen promptly, and actions are taken to ensure and promote their safety.”
Inspectors highlighted the quality of information being shared between the Council and other agencies to help with assessments and referrals, as well as acknowledging the ambition of senior leaders to make further improvements. They also noted that, in situations when it is not necessary for the Council to intervene, social workers carry out checks, speak with parents and consider whether families would benefit from other early help services.
Rutland County Council’s social care services received 1,413 safeguarding contacts last year. These can be calls or online contacts expressing concerns for a child or young person.
As part of the focused visit, inspectors also confirmed a number of areas where changes could help to improve the way that Children’s Services are provided in Rutland.
In all cases, these are areas which were brought to Ofsted’s attention by the Council as part of the inspection process and where work is already taking place to make improvements. They include:
- Holding further multi-agency meetings when concerns have escalated during an assessment, or when a follow up strategy meeting is required
- More consistency across assessments and greater consideration for the views of children, absent parents or all professionals involved with families
- Some children’s plans deriving from assessments could focus more clearly on what needs to change to improve the child’s circumstances
- The vast majority of assessments are completed within national timescales, while some low-risk cases could be completed quicker
“We take our responsibility to protect vulnerable children and young people extremely seriously. Our Children’s Services act swiftly and diligently whenever concerns about a child’s safety are raised, and we work closely with neighbouring councils and the police to make sure the right action is taken. We need people to continue to come forward and tell us if they are worried about a child or young person in Rutland. If you have any concerns at all, please let us know so that we can investigate and step in to help, if needed.”
David Wilby, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People
If you're worried a child is in danger, being neglected or needs protection, report it straight away by calling: 01572 758 407 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.