Sheffield Council children’s service praised by Ofsted for coping with Covid pandemic

Sheffield Council’s ‘front door’ services were praised by Ofsted for continuing to meet the needs of families despite increased pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 5:02 pm

Inspectors visited the children and families service last month and found effective interventions, that decision-making and follow up actions were timely and that ‘workers are absolutely committed to the ethos of offering the right support at the right time’, and show how their actions make a positive difference.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, executive member for education, children and families, said: “It’s fabulous to see such an overwhelmingly positive report from Ofsted on the work of our children and families service.

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Councillor Jayne Dunn, executive member for education, children and families at Sheffield Council, said a recent positive Ofsted report on services demonstrated the council's commitment to protecting children and young people, despite the increased demand and pressure on the service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It reflects the fantastic work being carried out and demonstrates our commitment to protecting children and young people, despite the increased demand and pressure on the service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It shows that we have kept the integrity and quality of the service in the face of some extremely difficult circumstances which is a great testament to our hard-working staff.”

She added: “Another particular heartening point for me to read was that our social workers talked so positively about working for Sheffield, which in such a demanding and difficult role where their workloads have evidently increased, highlights a positive culture that respects and values the workforce and their dedication to Sheffield’s children.

"It’s been a difficult few years for everyone, but especially those on the frontline, so for them to continue to enjoy their work and feel supported in what they do is fantastic to hear.”

There were four recommendations for improvement. These were: the pace of implementing improvements, the quality of recording, sharing of information with other agencies following domestic abuse meetings, and ensuring that the views of children are being considered in plans.

Coun Dunn said: “While the letter makes a few recommendations for improvement, these had already been identified in a self-assessed improvement plan provided to Ofsted before the inspection and I have no doubt that these will be quickly actioned to continue to improve the service.

"There is always the opportunity to learn from inspections and we welcome that learning; we will continue to make the necessary improvements to strengthen our service even further to ensure the best support and protection is available to our most vulnerable children and families.”