Ofsted praise for effective work with vulnerable children

Merton Council has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for its effective and timely work to protect the borough’s most vulnerable children.

The inspection focused on the work by the council’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), and other safeguarding schemes, to identify the risks children face and create plans to meet their needs. The inspectors noted the MASH was continuing its strong work; previously recognised in the ‘Good with Outstanding features’ rating of Merton Children’s Services awarded in 2017.

The report, published today, praised the council for further enhancing its early help and support work and described the assessments of the needs of children as being of ‘exceptionally high quality’. The inspectors noted that children’s views ‘are clearly listened to and acted on’.

The inspectors acknowledged improvements made by the department since the last full inspection in 2017 and earmarked areas for the service to work upon to make continual enhancements.

Following a two-day the visit in January, the inspectors noted: “MASH is well established, with effective multi-agency engagement, and partners contributions lead to timely and proportionate responses to the risks identified at the time of referral.”

“Assessments are comprehensive and analytical, and lead to clear plans that help to improve children’s and families’ circumstances. Social workers are supported and supervised effectively by experienced managers, so that work progresses in a timely way.”

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Kelly Braund, said: “Keeping our most vulnerable children safe and ensuring they receive effective and timely support is of utmost importance to us.”

“We are pleased that Ofsted has recognised the work of MASH and our other safeguarding schemes, and we are committed to continually drive forward improvements to ensure all children in Merton have the protection they need.”

“This report is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. It also reflects the strong work that we deliver in partnership with our schools, voluntary sector partners, the police, NHS and of course our parents and carers.”

Link to the full report: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50054677