Ofsted Judges Children’s Services in Oxfordshire as “Good”

Ofsted has judged Oxfordshire County Council’s children’s services as good as part of an inspection that took place in February 2024.

The assessment took place as part of the government’s inspecting local authority children’s services (ILACS) system.

Inspectors praised the county council for a number of improvements across its services since its last inspection in 2018, which were also judged overall as good, leading to even better outcomes for children and young people.

Ofsted judged the council’s children’s services as good across all five areas of inspection criteria:

  1. Overall effectiveness.
  2. Impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families.
  3. Experiences and progress of children who need help and protection.
  4. Experiences and progress of children in care.
  5. Experiences and progress of care leavers.

Ofsted commented that: “The chief executive officer is ambitious for children and has a good understanding of the priorities for improving the lives of the most vulnerable children.

“Strong political and corporate support has continued and has ensured that the children’s directorate has received ongoing investment to develop and strengthen services for vulnerable children.

“The newly appointed permanent director of children’s services, together with political and corporate leaders, are committed to, and ambitious for, children and young people. They have a good understanding of what is working well, and the areas for ongoing improvement.

“Additional investment has also enabled services to be developed and strengthened.”

Councillor John Howson, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Young People’s Services, said: “This result is testament to the incredible hard work and dedication of our children services teams, supporting and protecting some of the most vulnerable young people and families in the county.”

Among the many other positives, inspectors recognised that: “Children and young people who need help and protection receive proportionate and timely support.

“Families benefit from a range of specialist services, including clinical support, to reduce risks to children because of parental domestic abuse and substance misuse.

“Social workers have a good understanding of their children and of their route into care. Many children have stable relationships with their social workers, who undertake creative life-story and direct work. A range of age-appropriate tools are used so that children are able to understand their plans.

“Many care leavers appreciate the impactful help that they receive, including a range of practical assistance. They also value the emotional support available to them. Care leavers who are parents receive good practical and emotional support to manage the demands of young parenthood.

“Care leavers who arrive in the UK as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are well supported by social workers who get to know them well. They live in suitable homes and are helped to learn English and to develop their independence skills.”





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