Children's services in Hertfordshire rated Outstanding in latest Ofsted report

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‘This ‘outstanding’ rating puts us among the best in the country’

Children services in Hertfordshire were rated overall as ‘outstanding’ in a recent Ofsted report.

An inspection judged Hertfordshire County Council’s services worthy of the top overall mark in January 2023.

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In a report published on 10 March, children’s experiences were considered outstanding, the impact staff have on children and their families received the same grade.

The council's services received the highest possible gradeThe council's services received the highest possible grade
The council's services received the highest possible grade

A good rating was attributed to the local authority’s work with children who need protection and the experiences of those who leave care.

Inspectors described Hertfordshire’s social workers and practitioners as experienced and skilled, and praised their commitment to children, noting the positive relationships they have with children. They noted that social workers enjoy working in Hertfordshire, find their work rewarding and that those new to the authority feel welcomed and supported.

Councillor Fiona Thompson said: “I am so pleased that Ofsted have recognised the fantastic work our children’s services teams do to support young people and their families. This ‘outstanding’ rating puts us among the best in the country, and it’s all down to the amazing work of our staff. They really are outstanding and I am delighted that the inspectors have seen their commitment and professionalism, and recognised that the county council is a great place to work.”

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Hertfordshire County Council states it is still looking for people to join its children services teams. Details can be found on the local authority’s website here.

The report, which can be read in full here, says: “They take their corporate parenting responsibilities very seriously and champion children’s services across the council and with partner agencies. Leaders are ambitious for Hertfordshire’s children. Rigorous self-evaluation and effective performance management underpin a drive for continuous improvement.”

Inspectors credited the multi-agency strength-based model used by the council. Further credit was given for the joined-up working between professionals, adopters and foster carers.

Children experiencing exploitation are supported by dedicated and experienced workers who are persistent in their attempts to engage, support and protect them from harm.

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Some of the referrals delivered by the council could be delivered in a more timely manner, the report added.

Supervision and management oversight of practice in care leavers services, and their access to their health reports, were also highlighted as areas that could be improved.