Ofsted warns children’s services at Luton Borough Council are ‘not good enough’

Luton Town Hall

Luton Town Hall

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Children’s services in Luton require improvement as the support young people and parents receive is not good enough, Ofsted has said.

Following an inspection of Luton Borough Council’s children’s services department last month, the schools watchdog has ruled that three of four areas it reviewed require improvement.

In a report of the visit, published yesterday, Ofsted acknowledges that additional structures have been put in place over the last 12 months but warns that “more work is required before services for children can be considered good.”

It adds: “Social workers are not yet consistently receiving high quality supervision and there are weaknesses in the level and quality of management oversight of practice.

“For some children and families, frequent changes of personnel have had a negative impact on children’s ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships with their social workers and have contributed to drift.”

Inspectors added their concerns that progress in LBC’s fostering service has been slow as it has “not yet managed to recruit the right mix and range of foster carers required to meet the current and future children looked after population in Luton.”

Despite the negatives Ofsted has concluded that over the last year LBC has shown a “clear sense of purpose and direction” and that “decisive action has been and continues to be taken to improve performance and drive up practice standards.”

As part of this a number of staff members have had their contracts terminated while others have decided to leave, inspectors added.

Luton Borough Council has said that the report’s conclusions are in line with its own self-assessment.

Cllr Mahmood Hussain, LBC portfolio holder for for children and young people, said: “The help and support children and families are receiving is improving, as acknowledged by Ofsted, however we fully recognise the areas where more work needs to be done to enable us to deliver a service that children and young people in Luton need and deserve.”