Ofsted’s plaudits for H&F children’s service staff

The quality of care provided by H&F staff who support vulnerable young people has been praised by official assessor Ofsted.

Inspectors admired the professionalism of staff working with young people when they visited last month.

Children’s service workers were described as proactive, highly skilled, sensitive, energetic and hard-working in the official report – the first since Hammersmith & Fulham Council took sole responsibility for social care after joint arrangements with two neighbouring boroughs ended.

Young people in council care who were interviewed by inspectors said they felt safe and well looked after.

Ofsted report highlights include:

  • Staff making ‘significant and tenacious’ efforts to stay in touch with young people leaving care – in the process, going well beyond their statutory duty.
  • Praise for increasing use of Staying Put arrangements, which allow young people to remain in foster care until they are 21.
  • Good staff understanding of potential risks to vulnerable young individuals, with support provided to reduce those risks.
  • A clear focus on efforts to engage young people in education, employment and training with effective individual support.
  • Dedication of senior managers who focus on improving care leavers’ life chances.
  • Staff ensuring care leavers’ physical and emotional needs are clearly identified and considered.

Cllr Larry Culhane, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education, welcomed Ofsted’s findings, and pledged that council departments would continue to improve.

“I’d like to say a special thanks to the staff, who are absolutely dedicated in keeping our vulnerable children safe from harm, and giving them best opportunities in life,” he said.

“There are, of course, still elements to work on and we will work with our care leavers to develop the service and to apply the lessons across all our services.”

Ofsted also identified a handful of areas where there is room for improvement, including increasing the number of apprenticeships and canvassing the views of care leavers, to inform better ways of working.

You can read the letter to H&F which summarises the findings of the Ofsted visit to H&F children's services.

Could you be a foster carer?

We’re always in need of foster carers and if you could provide a loving home for a young person aged 18 and under, then we’d love to hear from you.

You’ll get the support and training you need plus a financial allowance.

Find out more about fostering in the borough, including videos where foster carers talk about how the experience has changed their life for the better.

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