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Ofsted praises West Sussex County Council for its relentless approach to improving practice!

We’re delighted to share that our commitment to improving Children’s Services has been recognised in a recent Ofsted Inspection, resulting in an overall rating of “requires improvement”, along with “good” judgments for children in care and leadership and management. This is a significant step forward since our last full inspection in 2019, which judged all areas as inadequate.

Staff across Children’s Services have shown great determination to deliver improvements, putting children and young people first. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the commitment of every individual who has contributed to our transformation. We would like to thank our amazing Foster Carers for their dedication through this period of change, and for their ongoing support as we continue on our improvement journey.

Highlights from the Ofsted Report, include:

  1. Capturing the Child’s Voice: “Records of visits to children are warmly written and capture the child’s voice as well as observations of the child’s presentation by the Social Worker.”
  2. Introducing Opportunities and Activities: “Children have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities and hobbies that reflect their interests and abilities.”
  3. Providing Valuable Training for Foster Carers: “Foster carers benefit from a varied training offer to support them in meeting children’s needs.” 
  4. Empowering Care Leavers: “Care leavers have a strong, committed and effective participation group and they told inspectors of the direct influence they have had in shaping and developing the service.” 
  5. Demonstrating a Commitment as Corporate Parents: “Political and corporate leaders ensure that outcomes for children in West Sussex improve.” 

Cabinet Members Express Delight and Dedication to Further Fostering Improvement

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for children and young people, expressed her delight at Ofsted’s recognition of the significant progress made over the past four years. She acknowledged the dedication and hard work of all staff across Children’s Services and the County Council in driving sustained improvements and said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the huge progress we have made over the past four years.

“The outcome of this inspection is a testament to the determination and hard work of all our staff across Children’s Services and the County Council. We have been relentless in our approach to put children first and drive sustained improvement within our services.

“We know we have more work to do so all our children and young people receive a good level of service. Ofsted has recognised our commitment to make further improvements and these areas are being addressed as part of our new continuous improvement plan and the West Sussex County Council priority to keep people safe from vulnerable situations.”

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council, emphasised the Council’s resolute commitment to improving Children’s Services.

“Over the past four years, we have made significant investment in our services and ensured the political and corporate weaknesses reported in 2019 have been fully addressed. I am pleased Ofsted can see the positive changes both corporately and politically which is acknowledged in their report.

Our Ongoing Fostering Promise

We firmly believe that every child across West Sussex deserves a loving and supportive home, and together, we can make that a reality. This Ofsted inspection result is a testament to our shared commitment to putting children first, and we continue to strive to deliver a good level of service for all of our children and young people. We value the scrutiny and feedback, and remain dedicated to addressing the areas identified for further development.

Once again, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to our extraordinary Foster Carers and the exceptional West Sussex County Council staff for their steadfast devotion. Together we can have a positive and enduring impact on the lives of the children we care for.

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