YOUNG people leaving care are well prepared for the future and supported in all aspects of their lives, according to the latest Ofsted report on Reading’s Children’s Services.
Inspectors found that young people leaving care are receiving overall improving services from the Council, during their two day visit earlier this summer.
Each monitoring visit by Ofsted inspectors focuses on a specific area of Children’s Services and ‘young people leaving care’ was the subject of their latest inspection on 31st July and 1st August.
It was the seventh Ofsted monitoring visit since the department was judged inadequate following a full inspection in June 2016.
The Ofsted letter, published today, says detailed attention is paid to the individual needs and circumstances of young people preparing for their transition towards independent living. Young people aged 16 and 17 are carefully prepared for leaving care through closely planned joint work between social workers and leaving care advisers (LCAs).
Young people aged between 18 and 25 are supported well in all aspects of their lives by skilled and experienced LCAs.
Inspectors say: “Sustained and continued efforts mean that no young people are left without dedicated support, even when they are resistant to being helped and difficult to engage.”
The report continues: “A strong intent to build trusting, constructive and continuous professional relationships with young people who have left care permeates the work of social workers and LCAs.”
Line managers are also praised for offering helpful and supportive advice and direction to staff.
The Ofsted letter says: “Direct work with young people leaving care is a strength. LCAs and social workers make determined efforts to build and maintain purposeful relationships with young people.
“These strong professional attachments influence many young people to make progress with their education, employment and training (EET), and to benefit from living in suitable, supported, semi-independent housing settings.”
Regular meetings are held between involved partners, closely tracking young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The report noted constructive partnership and multi-agency working to help reduce risks to vulnerable young people.
Inspectors also found that young people who arrive as unaccompanied asylum seekers are carefully supported and are found accommodation suitable to their needs.
LCAs and social workers told inspectors they felt well supported and guided in their direct work by managers who are easily available, knowledgeable and experienced.
Cllr Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said:
“I am pleased to see the commitment of social workers and leaving care advisers are recognised in this latest Ofsted monitoring report.
“Inspectors found there is a good level of guidance and support for young people in Reading who are leaving care and embarking on their adult lives. This is helping them to move on and take advantage of further education, employment and training opportunities.
“There are also some areas of improvement identified by inspectors which the team are already working hard to address.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Ofsted monitoring report can be found at: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/reading