Rotherham children's services improvements noted by Ofsted

OFSTED has praised improvements in the borough’s children’s services — just over two years after branding them inadequate.

Inspectors noted the “positive organisational culture” Rotherham Borough Council had built since.

The report said: “The council is making continuous progress in improving services for children in need of help and protection.”

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Staff were highly committed, motivated and felt valued, the monitoring report added.

Ian Thomas, the council’s children’s director, said: “To be told you have a positive organisational culture is something which you just can’t buy and certainly two years ago we would never have believed we would be hearing. 

“Here in Rotherham we have some of the most loyal, dedicated and highly-motivated staff I have ever seen. 

“Everyone has the same goal, to turn the ship around and make Rotherham the best it can be and put the past firmly in the past.

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“In the last year, we have introduced a hugely successful recruitment and retention scheme. We recognised the main issues facing social workers and tackled them head on. 

“The best thing we have done is to cut caseloads so now they are much more manageable and we monitor this on a daily basis.”

Inspectors said early help assessments were getting better but contributions from partners like police and health needed to be improved.

They also said more needed to be done to conduct police interviews with social workers present to prevent children having to retell their story.