CHILDREN’S services at Worcestershire County Council has improved since being rated inadequate two years ago but some issues remain, the latest report by Ofsted has found.

In its sixth monitoring visit to the county council since it was slapped with the lowest possible rating in November 2016, Ofsted reviewed how the council deals with children in care up to the age of 16 at the start of October.

In a letter to director of children’s services, Catherine Driscoll, the inspectorate said the quality of support offered to children in care has improved since the inadequate rating.

Ofsted said the county council uses legal processes and care proceedings “effectively” which ensures children are protected and plans are put in place to secure their long-term future when they are exposed to significant harm.

The report said evidence during care proceedings is “increasingly robust” with some social workers presenting “excellent” evidence and the vast majority are completed within 26 weeks.

The report added social workers are increasingly confident about their work with children and families in legal proceedings and feel well supported by managers.

The inspection found that social workers are proactive when children go missing so the children feel confident to talk about what happened whilst missing and so they can be protected from future risk.

However, Ofsted found that a “significant minority” of looked after children did not have their educational needs met sufficiently.

Ofsted also found that better quality care plans are leading to “positive” change for many children but some - especially for children with complex and challenging needs - do not contain enough detail to ensure they receive help at the right time.

Ofsted said the council has worked hard to recruit and retain more staff meaning continuity between child and social worker is improving.

During its visit, Ofsted found that whilst most children are seen regularly through statutory visits they are not always proportionate to the level of the child’s need or regular enough to build a trusting relationship between the social worker and the child.

The letter read: “The voice and experiences of children are reflected in assessments, plans and reviews through direct work and observation of children.

“This means that children are increasingly listened to and their views and wishes are making a difference in decisions which affect their lives.”