Liverpool City Council praised over ‘effective’ pandemic response

Fiona Simpson
Thursday, September 23, 2021

Ofsted has praised Liverpool City Council's “well-coordinated and effective” response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liverpool has been praised over its work with disabled children during the pandemic. Picture: Adobe Stock
Liverpool has been praised over its work with disabled children during the pandemic. Picture: Adobe Stock

A monitoring visit carried out by inspectors in June highlighted the success of the council’s response to the health crisis in its work with vulnerable children and families despite a high number of infections in the area.

Inspectors noted that short break facilities for disabled children remained open during the pandemic and children who are “seen regularly by social workers who know them well” continued to benefit from support despite lockdown restrictions.

The council was rated “requires improvement to be good” at an inspection in 2018 with Ofsted criticising high social worker caseloads, the pace at which children transitioned into care and “quality and consistency of oversight and challenge by first line managers, child protection conference chairs and independent reviewing officers”.

During its most recent visit, Ofsted found that “most children in Liverpool benefit from an effective range of support and services, which are making a difference to their lives”.

A letter published by the inspectorate, highlights improvements in the pace at which child protection and safety plans are delivered and “purposeful” social work delivered by those working with children with special educational needs and disabilities and as part of a newly created team for adolescents.

Caseloads for social workers remain high, Ofsted said, with “a high proportion of newly qualified social workers managing some complex work with families”.

However, “social workers who were spoken to during this visit were very positive about working for Liverpool,” inspectors added, highlighting a wide range of virtual training for staff.

The inspectorate’s letter was discussed at a meeting of the council’s social care and health select committee on Tuesday (21 September) which said: “It is evident from the outcome letter of the focused visit that there has been an improvement in the quality of social work practice since the Inspection of Local Children’s Services in 2018.

“Improvement work continues as we move forward on our journey to an Ofsted grade of ‘good’. 

“The directorate is very proud of the progress that has been made and this is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, particularly during the Covid pandemic, as they have worked tirelessly to keep our most vulnerable children safe.”

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