‘Flourishing’ children’s social care praised in Leeds

Ofsted inspectors have highlighted Leeds City Council’s services for children in care as ‘flourishing’ following the first new-style focused inspection to be carried out in the country.

The educational inspectorate particularly praised senior leaders at the council as having ‘created an environment where social work is flourishing’, recognising that ‘the voice of the child in informing and shaping care planning is clear’.

Emphasising investment in Leed’s social care workforce, the report said: “The local authority has invested wisely and well in recruitment and retention, workforce development and career progression. Staff turnover is at an all-time low. A more stable workforce means that children and young people are able to build meaningful relationships with their social workers.”

Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said: “The findings from our first focused inspection is affirmation of all the hard work our social care staff and foster carers put in, day in day out. Whether it is by working directly with vulnerable children and their families or our support staff who work behind the scenes – everyone has a vital part to play in helping to improve the lives of children and young people across the city.

“It is fantastic that inspectors have recognised we are creating an environment where social work is flourishing and how our skilled and stable workforce is having a hugely positive impact on the children, families and carers they work with. Our pledge to make Leeds a child friendly city is a key element of our city’s growth strategy. Leeds has a very diverse population with areas of disadvantage and the challenges these bring, which makes this recognition all the more rewarding. The inspectors recognised that we are not complacent and are well aware that this is only one step on our journey to improve the lives of all children and young people.”