Camden's children's services rated 'outstanding' by watchdog
- Credit: Justin Thomas
Camden Council’s children’s services have been rated "outstanding" by Ofsted.
After visits by inspectors in April, the watchdog has raised the authority's rating from "good", which was awarded in 2017.
The report says children and young people in Camden are "protected and cared for" against harm and abuse and that children in care and care leavers are listened to and given "robust care plans" to progress and thrive.
"Early help consistently helps families to work things out for themselves," the report adds.
Inspectors praised senior leaders, their "inspirational" work during the pandemic and Camden’s response to the refugee crisis in Afghanistan.
The council received a "good' rating for the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection.
The report said "support from social workers in the emergency duty team to children who become subject to the powers of police protection could be improved".
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It said "the response from the local authority designated officer to allegations against professionals has been inconsistent during recent staffing changes" but "initial steps" have been taken to remedy this.
Camden Council leader Cllr Georgia Gould said the rating is "proof of the commitment and dedication that staff from across our children’s services put in everyday to ensure the best services for our children and young people".
She added: “I’m proud that the report recognises that we put children and young people at the heart of everything we do as well as the sheer hard work from our staff who, despite the huge challenges that resulted from the pandemic, continued to provide an outstanding service. Congratulations to all.”
Cllr Marcus Boyland, lead member for best start for children and families, congratulated Martin Pratt, the council's executive director of supporting people, and his team.
Mr Pratt said he feels "incredibly proud", adding: “This is an incredible result, but the work will not stop here.
"We will build on what we’ve achieved so far and make further improvements to ensure we can continue to deliver the very best services for our children, young people as well as their carers and families.”
Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s national director for regulation and social care, said: “This judgement is a significant achievement and a testament to the hard work of Camden’s leadership team, managers and frontline staff, the wider council and safeguarding partners.”