Sheffield’s Child services must improve

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Children’s services in Sheffield need further improvement to be judged as ‘good’, inspectors have found.

Ofsted rated the city council as ‘good’ in four areas – including the effectiveness of its safeguarding children board, leadership and child protection.

The council, one of the first authorities nationwide to take part in the new rigorous inspection process, was praised for ‘making a positive difference’ to the lives of young people and had improved to help more.

There were no widespread or serious failures – but inspectors found adoption performance, looked-after children and achieving permanence needed improvements.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said there were already plans to address problems raised.

She said: “What has come through loud and clear is that Sheffield children and young people are well supported and we have been given significant praise for the work we do to protect children from harm.

“There are no widespread or serious failures in any of our services. 
“And the welfare of the children and young people we look after is safeguarded and promoted.”

Inspectors said adoption timelines meant it took too long for some children to be placed.

Coun Drayton said it was ‘vital’ to get the right families for children.