Barnet Council’s Children’s Services have gone from inadequate to good in just under two years.
The report highlights the council is now delivering better outcomes for some of the borough’s most vulnerable children and young people, and demonstrates the significant progress that has been made in a short space of time.
The inspection of the council’s Children’s Service was carried out by OFSTED between 13 to 24 May 2019, the first inspection of Barnet since 2017. The report states that 'Leaders and managers have made purposeful progress, at pace, to establish a child-focused service that is delivering good outcomes'.
It also found that children in care now receive a good service from workers who know them well. Carers also provide stable homes and are supportive and ambitious for the children in their care.
In terms of leadership and governance, there is now strong and effective leadership at a political level and throughout the council. This has prioritised support and care for children and young people and led to significant and tangible improvements in the quality of social work practice, and the services that children and young people experience.
The OFSTED report concluded that services for children in Barnet are good, and much improved from the services that were inspected in 2017.
Councillor David Longstaff, Chairman of the Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee, said: “It is vital that our most vulnerable children and young people are supported by good quality services that will deliver better outcomes for them. This is testament to the sheer hard work that has been put in by staff to deliver services that our children and young people deserve.
"The inspection result represents the huge amount of work that has gone into driving improvements for children and young people across the board over the last two years. The key thing now is to continue the hard work and build on this positive momentum. We have worked together across the council and with our partners to deliver these changes. I have every confidence that we will continue to go from strength to strength."
Chris Munday, Executive Director of Children and Young People, said: “This is an extremely positive outcome for children and young people in Barnet. I am delighted that the report is so positive about both our social workers and other children's workers, and their commitment and tenacity in improving outcomes for our most vulnerable children.
“It is also very pleasing there was recognition of how our work with key partners is delivering a range of positive work, including our approach to early help, child protection and children in care. Moving forward, we are clear that working together to drive improvements for our children and young people remains the highest of priorities.”