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Ofsted Inspectors find more children in Stoke-on-Trent ‘are achieving security and stability’ in permanent homes

Published: Wednesday, 8th November 2023

City leaders have today (Wednesday 8 November) welcomed findings from an Ofsted focused visit.

The report highlighted that highlighted more children are ‘achieving security and stability’ in permanent homes, with their parents, connected carers or foster carers and through adoption.

The Ofsted visit to Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Children and Family Services, focusing on early permanence for children aged 10 and under, found that services have ‘maintained a focus’ on achieving permanent homes for children and ‘improving the quality of social work practice in Stoke-on-Trent’.

Ofsted highlighted that:

  • Adoption work is a strength in Stoke-on-Trent
  • The senior leadership team in children’s services is visible and approachable
  • Social workers know their children well and the voice of the child is strong throughout children’s records

The inspection found that ‘with strong political and corporate support’ Children’s Services Teams are ‘improving the outcomes for children in Stoke-on-Trent’.

Cllr Sarah Hill, cabinet member for children’s services said: “I am thrilled that Ofsted has found that we continue to make progress in securing permanent homes for children at the earliest opportunity.

“We are working incredibly hard to support children in the city and ensure that as many as possible have safe, secure and loving homes.

“I’m also pleased that the report highlights work to achieve permanent homes for children with their parents. Early intervention and preventative support for children and families is one of our key aims as a city council.

“In the short period since the inspectors visited us for two weeks over September and October, we have announced higher skills payments for foster carers who foster second and third children and a new children’s social care Sufficiency Strategy to ensure that there is sufficient accommodation for children in care. We’ve also announced our enhanced Family Support model to provide vital early intervention support to families to help reduce the number of children who ultimately need to be taken into care.

“We will, of course, always continue to strive to be even better and will be taking on board feedback from Ofsted about areas where can improve further.”

The full report can be read at: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50232125