Statement from Milorad Vasic, Executive Director, Children’s Services, Halton Borough Council, following Ofsted Focused Visit.
“Nothing is more important to the Council than keeping children in Halton safe from harm.
“So I am pleased that, in their letter, Ofsted acknowledge that practice in Halton has improved since their last visit and that they recognise the Council’s commitment, backed by significant investment, to driving forward at pace, further improvements to social work practice for children in need of help and protection.
“I also welcome the comments made on the effectiveness of the work being done by our iCart (Integrated Contact and Referral Team) and Duty Assessment Team front-door services to ensure vulnerable children and families benefit from timely and proportionate interventions and support.
“While progress is being made, there is still some way for us to go and I recognise the areas of practice highlighted by Ofsted, as being among those where we still need to do better.
“However, I am confident that we have a robust improvement plan in place that will deliver the necessary changes going forward. We will continue to work alongside our partners and with the DfE to deliver on this plan.
“Finally, I would like to thank all of our staff for their continued hard work, dedication and enthusiasm as we continue on this improvement journey together.”
The Ofsted focused visit by inspectors took place between 23-24 November 2022.
Inspectors looked at the quality of ‘front-door’ arrangements (delivered by the Integrated Contact and Referral Team)* and Duty and Assessment Team; the quality of management oversight and; processes for the Local Authority Designated Officer**
*iCart (Integrated Contact and Referral Team) is comprised of multi-agency staff, including social care, early intervention, education, health and Police, providing access to a wide range of information. The team accept safeguarding referrals & early intervention requests. More information here.
** The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is the person who should be notified when it’s been alleged that someone who works with children has: behaved in a way which has harmed or might harm a child. possibly committed a criminal offence against a child.