It would appear that the Ofted report that finds East Riding of Yorkshire Council to be inadequate has been buried as no one seems to be aware of it.
As an Independent ERYC Councillor between 2016 and 2019 I constantly raised concerns with other Councillors and Senior Officers but all disagreed with me.
Ofted has supported my concerns. What does this say about those Councillors and Senior Officers?
Extracts From The Report
- The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families – Inadequate
- The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection – Inadequate
- Overall effectiveness – Inadequate
Since the last inspection in 2016, when services were rated as good overall, there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of help and protection support for children in East Riding. Services for children in care and care leavers have remained strong overall, with good strategic and operational management oversight. This is not replicated in services for children in need of help and protection, where management oversight and practice is significantly weaker.
Senior leaders and councillors do not have a wholly accurate understanding of these practice and service shortfalls. Where leaders are aware of the shortfalls, this is not fully reflected in the self-assessment.
Leaders had identified weaknesses at the front door prior to the inspection, and these have not been effectively addressed. This has resulted in children experiencing delays in their needs being identified and remaining in situations of risk. Thresholds for access to children’s social care services are not fully understood or applied by partner agencies in the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH). Some children are supported in early help services when the risks are too high. Management oversight of the front door is weak.
While some core social work practice in locality safeguarding teams is stronger and effective, the quality and impact of practice for specific groups of children has deteriorated since the last inspection. For instance, aspects of the practice in pre- 2 proceedings work, services for disabled children, children in private fostering arrangements and children at risk of exploitation are poor. High caseloads in some teams and weaknesses in the quality of oversight and decision-making by some managers are leading to drift and delay for children receiving the services they need to protect them and improve their lives. The quality of social work supervision is variable, and, for some workers, there are gaps in individual case supervision for some months. The response by the designated officers to concerns is not effective.
What Needs To Improve
- The accuracy of the self-evaluation in order to ensure that senior leaders and members have a clear understanding of service strengths and what needs to improve.
- The understanding and application of thresholds to children’s social care by partner agencies and the EHaSH, to include the appropriate seeking of parental consent.
- The quality and consistency of social work assessments and children’s plans.
- The quality of risk assessment and planning where children are at risk of exploitation.
- The quality of analysis and action planning following strategy discussions.
- The timeliness and effectiveness of pre-proceedings work.
- The timeliness and quality of assessment and planning for disabled children.
- The effectiveness of scrutiny and management oversight by leaders at all levels of help and protection work to enable a better understanding of practice.
- The effectiveness of quality assurance arrangements.
- The effectiveness of the designated officers.
- The quality of assessment and planning for children subject to private fostering arrangements.
- Availability and access to training for all social work staff and foster carers.
Please click on the link below to read the full report which includes further information.