Children’s Services’ leaders at City of York Council will share a seven point action plan setting out how the council will further improve its services for children and young people later this month (28 June).
The draft action plan has been drawn up following an inspection of the council’s Children’s Social Care services earlier this year [March].
Whilst the inspection recognised a number of areas of strength within the service, including the support provided to children and families throughout the covid pandemic and the council’s commitment to ensure that the needs of children are prioritised, the overall inspection judgement was that York ‘Required improvement to be good’.
Members of the council’s Children, Education and Communities Policy and Scrutiny Committee will get the opportunity to comment on and provide additional recommendations on the draft action plan at their meeting next week. Children and young people from York’s Children in Care Council [Show Me That I Matter] and Care Leavers’ Forum [I Still Matter] will also input into developing the plan, before it is before it is submitted to Ofsted in August.
The plan sets out how improvements will be made in seven areas of Children’s Social Work:
1.The consistency of written records so that they provide an accurate account of decision-making for all children.
2.The quality of assessments to ensure that they consistently inform care planning.
3.The effectiveness of social work supervision in progressing plans for children and addressing practice shortfalls.
4.The analysis of return home interviews.
5.Responses to children aged 16 and 17 who present as homeless.
6.The pace of planning for children in unregistered children’s homes.
7.Children’s influence and attendance at the corporate parenting board.
The majority of recommendations made by Ofsted had already been identified locally and work to address these is already underway.
Cllr Andrew Waller, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:
Work to develop areas of the service has been ongoing for some time and the action plan provides us with an opportunity to further refine our commitment to continuous improvement, and to demonstrate the changes that have already been implemented to achieve these goals.
“The pandemic provided unprecedented challenges for children’s social care, to which the service responded, and there were positive steps taken even under those pressures.
“I want to thank my predecessor in this role for starting that work. As the new Executive member for Children’s Services, I am clear that my focus and drive will be on delivering the required improvements, at pace, and in the interests of families and children in communities across the city.
“This draft Action Plan will help us to continue our ongoing work with partners to further improve our services so, together, we can ensure that every child in York receives a better start in life, and to involve young people and families in the process.”