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Dudley fostering services "adequate" report says
10:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in Local
FOSTERING services in Dudley only meet minimum requirements according to Ofsted inspectors.
The department has been judged “adequate” - just one level up from inadequate - and five areas of improvement have been recommended.
Inspectors found that children feel safe, their voices are heard, most form positive relationships with foster carers and the educational achievement of looked after children is a strength of the local authority.
Foster carers are generally satisfied, but staff sickness has caused difficulties and some carers have been “unhappy” with the service they have received.
The inspectors reported: “Staff sickness within the authority has also meant that it is only recently that all looked after children and young people have been allocated a social worker.”
However, they also found that a co-ordinated action plan had been implemented to address shortfalls raised at the previous inspection, carried out under the old framework in 2009, which marked the service the now defunct grade of satisfactory.
All recommendations had been fully met, assessment of carers has improved and managers are focused on improving and developing the service.
The area’s identified for improvement in the latest Ofsted report relate to provision of training for foster carers and members of the fostering households and to ensuring all necessary information is included in recruitment records and children’s guides.
Director of children’s services Jane Porter said: “The areas which have been identified for improvement will assist us in improving performance against the National Minimum Standards.”