Published on

20 March 2024

Right help at the right time for borough children

Social workers praised for building strong, trusting relationships to make huge improvements in young residents' lives

A group of eight children wearing brightly coloured tshirts smiling at the camera and giving a thumbs up

Wokingham Borough Council’s children’s services team hosted a visit from Ofsted last month, who have recognised the significant work carried out by the team following on from the inspection last year.

The visit looked at how the council helps children who are at risk, ensuring they have support in place to make sure they are safe and that their health and development needs are being met.

Inspectors found that improvements to assessments - which they deemed comprehensive and detailed - and planning are leading to swift and effective action when children are identified as at risk, and both are working better as they are developed with children, their families, and key partners.

They recognised strong relationships with children and families and that the council’s social workers are dedicated to engaging with families and understanding their circumstances and complex needs, highlighting the importance of building trust in reaching good outcomes.

The council’s work to improve family lives to enable children to stay with their parents was acknowledged, along with initiatives to support children affected by domestic abuse and substance misuse, with children at risk of harm through exploitation well supported by workers who focus on building effective relationships with them.

The inspectors also highlighted the value the council’s social workers place on opportunities provided, with access to a wide range of training, learning, and development helping them to progress in their career.

Better and safer lives

Cllr Prue Bray, executive member for children’s services, said: “We’re proud of the progress made by our children’s services team.

“This has been a priority for teams at all levels to make the improvements needed and it is heartening to see that this is paying off, making life better and safer for children in the borough.

“We remain committed to providing the best possible outcomes for our children and families and will continue to build on the important work carried out so far.

“I am delighted that the report is so positive and that the hard work of our staff in improving our services to children at risk has been recognised.”

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