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Improvements found in Northants children's social care

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Senior leaders at Northamptonshire CC have a “good understanding” of challenges the council faces in improving children’s social work practice, according to Ofsted.

Northamptonshire’s children’s social care services were rated ‘inadequate’ following four successive inspections, with the most recent completed in March 2016.

A report on an Ofsted monitoring visit last month said the council’s leadership has had a positive impact on staff morale, with “a clear service improvement plan” in place and “encouraging progress being made”.

Newly-qualified social workers are also being supported to transition to full-time practice, Ofsted said.

However, the quality of early assessments and planning were found to be “too variable”, resulting in support for children and families being delayed.

Northamptonshire CC’s director of children, families and education Lesley Hagger was asked to join the council in July 2016 by the Department for Education.

Her departure to Sandwell MBC was announced last week.

Responding to the report, Northamptonshire’s cabinet member for children’s services Victoria Perry (Con) said: “There is clearly still much to do but this inspection visit assures us that we are on the right track and that improvements have been made.”

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