19th Jun, 2018

Solihull council's services for care leavers have improved

Felix Nobes 9th Mar, 2018

SOLIHULL council’s services for young people leaving care have improved, according to Ofsted.

A two-day February inspection from Ofsted concluded planning for young people leaving care and for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) has made progress.

In the formal published letter, inspectors highlighted how social workers and personal advisers work well with young people to help them prepare for independence.

They also commented on how there is a focus on education, employment and training, with performance in this area above the England average.

Furthermore, leadership and management were well recognised, which has enabled positive outcomes to be achieved for young people.

The local authority reports that 66 per cent of 19- to 21-years-old care leavers were in employment, education and training.

There are also currently 20 care leavers on university courses.

However, the report also found pathway planning (designed to guide care-leavers to independence after a 16th birthday) needs to start earlier.

In addition to the recent Ofsted visit, the council has also invited two separate reviews of its children’s services.

These have included a peer review of services for children affected by sexual exploitation.

And also a ’mocksted’ examination of children’s social work services following the formal Ofsted inspection in 2016.

Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “We are really pleased with the outcome of Ofsted’s recent visit and are glad that they recognise our vulnerable children and young people are safe and supported.

“All three pieces of examination give us a helpful view on the quality of our services and have shown significant improvements, which we are all extremely proud of.

“However, we are not complacent and we know that there are some areas we need to develop further.

“We will continue to improve and build on our success to deliver outstanding services for children and young people in Solihull.”

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