Children's services are rated 'Good' in Stockport by Ofsted

Stockport Council's Children's Services has been rated 'Good' after a rigorous Ofsted inspection.

The inspection looked at all services delivered by Stockport Family to children in need of help, protection, and children in care and care leavers.

The inspection, which took place between 28th March – 1st April, found that "the strong quality of practice and services for families has been maintained, despite the high levels of Covid-19 and the increase in demand across the service."

Ofsted praised Stockport Family senior leaders for their relentless focus since the previous inspection in 2017 to embedding relationship-based, restorative approach to delivering services, saying that "this is extremely well understood across an integrated system of social care, early help, health and education and is supported by extensive training across the partnership" which creates a “strong and supportive culture” so "children receive the right level of support at the right time".

Inspectors saw “consistently positive” and “high standard” social work practice, and partnership working across the system to meet the needs of children and families, to reduce risk and improve outcomes.

Ofsted was impressed by Stockport Family's innovative approach to working with children, families, and partners through the New Beginnings programme , Team Around the School approach and the Family Drug and Alcohol Court. They found that the New Beginnings programme ensures a "very tailored support to families with children on a child protection plan" and says that "this leads to a high level of support to reduce the risk for children." Inspectors praised “these creative initiatives” which are co-produced and “ensures that services are shaped around the needs of the people who experience them”.

Stockport’s comprehensive and accessible care leavers local offer was commended which is supported by a strong corporate-wide commitment and investment in children’s services and championing of care leavers needs up to 25. “This ensures that care leavers feel listened to and valued, and are provided with opportunities in having a say in how changes are made”.

Chris McLoughlin OBE, Director of Children's Services at Stockport Council, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded a 'Good' by Ofsted. We know each one of our team work so hard to improve the lives of children and families in Stockport, so to be recognised in this way by Ofsted is a fantastic reward. We will strive to build on the outlined areas for improvement and hope to use this result as a foundation for future success."

To see the full Ofsted report, click here.