Ofsted praise ‘good’ care of children by Hartlepool Borough Council

Chris Simmons
Chris Simmons

GOVERNMENT inspectors have praised Hartlepool Borough Council for the way they look after and protect children.

Eight Ofsted inspectors spent four weeks at the council late last year, undertaking an in-depth assessment of the authority’s work within children’s services. And the report, which was published yesterday, has described the service as good overall.

The report states: “When children and young people need help and protection, professional staff who know them already work well together to ensure they are kept safe and well.

“Those who need a social worker report good relationships with them and feel listened to and understood. Children in need of help and protection receive regular visits from their social workers who spend a good amount of time with them working effectively.”

Hartlepool Council is one of the first authorities in the country to undergo a new, tougher inspection regime. The report applauds the fostering and adoption service and says leadership, management and governance are good.

It states: “Children and young people told inspectors they feel safe and listened to. They like their social workers and have good relationships with them.”

The report added: “Councillors are passionate and ambitious for the most vulnerable children in Hartlepool; take their role as corporate parents seriously; and ensure funding is protected as far as is possible.”

Councillor Chris Simmons, the council’s children’s services committee chair, said: “It is extremely reassuring to be graded “good” by Ofsted, particularly under the new, more rigorous inspection regime.

“We hear many negative stories from around the country about the protection of children, and this report demonstrates that we have very professional staff and proper procedures in place across children’s services to ensure that Hartlepool children and young people are safe and well protected. I would like to thank the staff for all of their efforts.”