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Ofsted praise 'outstanding' leadership of Islington's children's early help and social care services

Islington Council’s services for vulnerable children and families have received a ‘good’ Ofsted rating, underpinned by ‘outstanding’ leadership, management and governance, following a recent inspection. To date, Islington is one of 39 out of 136 local authorities inspected by Ofsted to be awarded an overall rating of ‘good’, and, of those, one of only six currently rated as having ‘outstanding’ leadership and governance.

Inspectors found that high quality and effective early help services focus on improving children’s circumstances before they reach the threshold for statutory social care services, while action is taken quickly to protect those children at risk of serious harm. Social workers spend time getting to know children and families, listening to children and understanding what is important to them.

Ofsted noted in the report that children’s services in Islington benefit from senior leaders and councillors who have a passion to make things better for all children, which is making a positive difference to young people’s lives.

Islington Council’s executive member for children and young people, Cllr Joe Caluori, said: “Despite seven years of government cuts, this administration has always prioritised protecting funding for children’s services. As a consequence, our children’s early help and social care services have gone from strength to strength and this report shows the strong culture of excellence we have built up in Islington.

"It is our mission to ensure that all children and young people are safe, protected and able to have the best start in life, whilst families who have problems are supported to grow stronger so they can overcome their difficulties and thrive.”

Islington Council’s Corporate Director of Children’s Services, Carmel Littleton, said: “I’m proud to see such determination across our services to making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families. I’d like to thank all of our staff and partners for their hard work and professionalism. We’ll never be complacent and there are areas where we want to improve still further to make our services work even more effectively to ensure that no child or family is left behind.”

Highlights from the report include:

• Children and families are provided with a wide range of services to help and support them to feel safe. Social workers act quickly when children need help and protection.

• Social workers, teachers, police and health workers work well together to help things get better for children and families. This means that problems are often solved at an early stage.

• Young people at risk of sexual or gang exploitation receive excellent support, which is delivered with sensitivity and persistence.

• Children and young people at risk of radicalisation, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour-based violence are protected through a range of clear multi- agency arrangements.

• When children and young people are unable to live with their parents, social workers find them a good home with caring adults.

• Care leavers receive good support to prepare them for independence.

The report can be read here.

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Chris Roe, Senior Media Officer
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