Achieving for Children

Ofsted praises children’s services in Richmond upon Thames

The support offered to vulnerable children in Richmond upon Thames has been praised following an inspection by Ofsted in April.

Inspectors assessed Richmond’s arrangements for children who need help and protection, which are delivered by Achieving for Children, in particular the front door arrangements when referrals are made due to concern about a child. Ofsted inspectors considered the routes offered to young people to get help, the quality and impact of the assessments offered and the social work and early intervention processes for children in need.

There was particular praise for how staff and partner agencies understand and apply thresholds of need, as well as the co-working amongst partners which leads to timely decision making. Ofsted also acknowledged the support offered to families in cases where the threshold for statutory services is not met. They found a clear and consistent model of social work practice, and every social worker they spoke with was on a permanent contract and described how well supported they are.

The wide range of accessible and locally-based early intervention services offered to children and families in Richmond was also acknowledged by Ofsted inspectors. However, inspectors encouraged AfC to improve co-ordination of early help support so it is more effective.

Interim Director of Children’s Services for Richmond upon Thames, James Thomas said: “I am very proud that Ofsted told us how passionate our social workers and early help practitioners are about their work, and that they were all able to show how well they understand the needs of the children they are helping.

“It was also great to hear that we have made further improvements to our service since last being judged Good by Ofsted in 2017, and that we have maintained the conditions for good practice to flourish.”

You can read the report here.

9 May 2019