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Council welcomes Child and Family Service inspection report

SWANSEA Council has welcomed an inspection of its child and family services that found good quality practice with positive outcomes for many children and young people.

Guildhall

Inspectors from Care Inspectorate Wales also said the service was effectively led and staff were dedicated and enjoyed working for a local authority where there was a culture of support.

The children and young people they heard from were positive about the support they received and were appreciative of the relationships with their social workers.

Inspectors have highlighted areas for development but noted the council is proactive in identifying where it can improve further.

Councillor Elliot King, Cabinet Member for Children Services (Early Years) said: "This report clearly shows the huge strides that have been made by our child and family service in recent years and reflects our investment in the service.

"There are many positives and I would congratulate the team and thank them for their dedication and hard work.

"The inspectors found that the changes we have made to the service in recent years are having positive results and their findings show they expect these to continue."

The CIW report states that demand for children's services has increased in recent years.

It found that there are strong safeguarding processes in place and the Signs of Safety model, which enables workers to focus on strengths and safety in families was established and powerfully used with families.

There are good arrangements in place to support assessments that are on the whole carried out in a prompt and efficient way.

The service benefits from a stable and resilient workforce that is committed to being child focused and is passionate about keeping families together and achieving good outcomes for children.

The inspectors said that working arrangements with other partners was generally effective and other agencies generally think highly of the work the service does.

The report states: "The authority had worked to increase the proportion of children and young people placed with in-house foster carer placements as opposed to being placed outside of the local authority.

"We saw that attempts were consistently made to maintain children within their families, where this was in their best interest."

This follows a positive Foster Swansea inspection report last week.

Some children and young people are achieving good educational outcomes and no looked after children have been permanently excluded from school but the report says there is scope to improve support and opportunities for others.

Swansea Council is in the process of investing £8m in a new centre purpose-built centre for children educated other than at school.

The report also found there is good support in place for care leavers who were helped with a range of housing options, employment and further educational opportunities and access to benefits.

Young people who were entitled to a personal adviser said how much they valued their input in assisting and accessing benefits, social and community activities.

Cllr King added: "Overall I'm very pleased with CIW's findings but we will not be complacent.

"Those members of staff inspectors spoke to said they felt well supported to do their jobs and are happy in their work while our partners spoke positively about much of what we do.

"Most importantly the children and young people the inspectors spoke to were positive about the support they received and appreciative of our staff who provide it."

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