Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Vital children’s social care services rated Good by Ofsted

Friday, 4 March 2022

We have been rated Good for the social care services we provide to children and families, following an inspection in January.

In a report published today (4 March 2022), Ofsted has credited us for demonstrating strengths and improvements across our full range of children’s social work practices.

The inspection focused on vital services aimed at children, young people and families, including the experiences of children who need help and protection, and the progress of those who are in care, or who have left care.

In the report, inspectors highlighted the child-centred approach demonstrated by our staff and referenced the focus on ensuring the best possible outcomes for its most vulnerable young people. It acknowledges that children are involved in decisions about their care, and we are credited for effective partnership working with other organisations to enable children and families to benefit from intensive early help and support. We are also credited for its comprehensive offer for care leavers, who are supported with their accommodation, leisure, work and training, and health needs.

Inspectors also acknowledge how staff have a good understanding of how the pandemic has impacted young people, and have adapted well, addressing the mental health needs of young people as a result of COVID-19.

The report builds on the previous ‘Good’ rating that we achieved in 2017. While we have maintained the same overall rating, inspectors have acknowledged the significant improvements in specific areas.

Councillor Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

I am delighted to receive such positive feedback about some of our most vital services. Ensuring that children are safe and that families have access to the right support as early as possible is an absolute priority for us. Sometimes children do need our care and protection, and when that happens we have great social work services who pay great attention to providing an environment where they are cared for and can thrive. I was also delighted that our good work supporting our care experienced young people to successfully become independent adults was also reflected in the Ofsted report. In addition to highlighting areas where we have maintained or improved good practice, the inspectors have provided valuable feedback on how we can develop our services further and we welcome this guidance. We will take on board the findings from the report and will continue to strengthen these important services.

The report follows recent ‘Good’ Ofsted ratings secured by our children’s homes – with Number 32 receiving the rating in January, and Maythorn and Kingfishers in July last year.