Sunderland named among the best for looking after youngsters in care

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson
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CARE for the Sunderland’s most vulnerable children has been praised.

An Ofsted inspection has placed the city’s services for children and young people in care among the top 25 per cent in the country.

Inspectors looked at how effectively services work together to safeguard youngsters in care and to promote positive outcomes for them when they leave care.

During their visit, inspectors talked to a range of people including children, parents, carers, council staff and representatives from partner agencies.

They rated the council’s safeguarding services as good overall with a good capacity to improve.

The report said: “Effective action is taken to ensure that children and young people are safe and feel safe. Relevant safeguarding performance indicators show an improving picture.”

Services for children in care were also highlighted as good, and there was particular praise for the authority’s success in placing high numbers of children for adoption, particularly children who are traditionally hard to find new families for.

Coun Paul Watson, Sunderland City Council leader, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this inspection. The findings reflect our commitment to ensuring that children and young people in Sunderland are safe.

“We are working hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for those children who are looked after and those leaving care.

“This achievement is the result of the hard work of dedicated professionals in the council and partner agencies who have worked together tirelessly and shown a real commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable children and young people across the city.

“We are not complacent. Safeguarding and improving outcomes for our vulnerable children and young people is our biggest priority in Sunderland and will continue to be so.”

Inspectors said improvements could be made in assessments and plans, record keeping and minute taking and case file audits.

Coun Watson said: “We will take on board the recommendations that Ofsted have made and we will all continue to listen to our communities, to further improve our services and to ensure that children and young people in Sunderland are supported to reach their full potential and have the life opportunities and the futures they deserve.”

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