Barnsley children’s services rated good after improvements
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Ofsted inspected the council’s children’s service in September, and praised ‘extensive’ efforts from social workers and ‘swift action’ to find homes for at-risk youngsters.
In March, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC) was told to improve its service for care leavers, noting that the service had been ‘weakened’ by workload pressure.
Barnsley Council implemented a plan to improve its care leavers service, including a one-off investment of £6.5m, and £2.5m funding per year.
In a report following September’s inspection, Ofsted praised BMBC for being ‘ambitious about improving opportunities for care leavers’.
The report adds that ‘a high turnover of staff, managers and senior leaders, as well as increased service demand, has resulted in the slight decline in the quality of some services provided to children living in Barnsley in need of help and protection’.
Inspectors identified one area out of five which requires improvement – they said there had been a slight decline in the quality of some services provided to children living in Barnsley in need of help and protection.
All areas were judged as good in the last full inspection in 2018.
However, the department’s ‘strong and efficient’ senior leadership team was praised for having a ‘ positive impact’ on the quality of social work in the borough.
Inspectors said improvements are now being ’embedded’, and that ‘most children who are at risk of criminal exploitation and gangs are beingidentified early in the referral process.’
Councillor Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “This rating is a fantastic achievement for Barnsley and reflects the hard work and commitment of our Children’s Services staff, along with the dedication and support of the council via the investment we’ve put in to help us achieve this.
“Inspectors could see how much children matter in Barnsley; we strive to make sure their voices are heard and involve them in our decision making.
“We mean it when we say we want Barnsley to be the place of possibilities for every child and young person who lives here, and we will continue to work hard to make this happen.”