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16 SEP 2010

Snap inspection praises Haringey's children's services

OfstedHaringey Council has received recognition of its work to improve the safeguarding of children following the Baby P case.

An unannounced inspection by Ofsted revealed much progress, with the watchdog praising Haringey's performance management, the commitment of its leadership and the accuracy and quality of assessments.

Ofsted's report, published today, identified seven key strengths and no 'priority actions'.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Lorna Reith said: "This report is real evidence of the significant progress made in the past couple of years across all areas of our children's safeguarding service.

"But we are certainly not complacent and recognise there is still some way to go to reach the level of the very best.

"That means a continued focus on improvement, which we are now well placed to do."

During the two-day unannounced visit the watchdog found that strong community networks ‘are enabling joint services to respond promptly to the assessed needs of children and the appropriate identification of children who are at risk of harm.'

Inspectors said that child protection investigations, the allocation of case work and initial and core assessments are undertaken promptly.

Staff morale is good, Ofsted noted, and managers ‘have a visible presence and have established a culture which sustains good direction and guidance on cases and continuous improvement.'

The three areas highlighted as in need of development were: workload pressures within the children in need team; the quality of case closure summaries; and the reporting of the outcome of initial assessments.

Every children's service in England receives an annual unannounced inspection from Ofsted to ensure they are properly safeguarding vulnerable children and young people.

The former Director of Children's Services for Haringey Council, Sharon Shoesmith, yesterday gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee examining child safeguarding and defended her role in the Baby P scandal.

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