Sutton's Liberal Democrat Council has been singled out for praise in a new government report for its work to protect vulnerable children.
A national Ofsted report reviewing leadership in England’s children’s services, highlighted the efforts of the council’s senior children’s social work team and the way they work with children in care.
The report, Joining the dots… Effective Leadership of Children’s Services, featured Sutton Council as one of nine English local authorities as beacons of best practice.
The nine councils were commended for the tenacity of their staff and for including children and young people in decisions.
Ofsted also credited managers with being keen to listen and learn about the experiences of children and young people and said their approach had led to better recruitment and retention of staff.
It went onto say: ‘Leaders were passionate about children and young people and knowledgeable about services, and worked collaboratively with staff to facilitate improvements. They retained a relentless focus on improving outcomes for children and their families.’
Inspectors also highlighted Sutton’s mentoring scheme for senior managers which was created to meet the individual needs of children who are looked after or who are care leavers.
The recognition comes one month after Sutton held a Child Sexual Exploitation Conference that brought together 100 delegates from agencies responsible for the safety and well-being of children in the borough. The conference marked the launch of Sutton’s multi-agency Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy. Speakers included representatives of the Metropolitan Police, Rotherham LSCB, Barnardos, Jigsaw4u and the council’s Children, Young People and Learning directorate.
Cllr Wendy Mathys, Lib Dem Chair of the Children, Family and Education Committee, said: “Our Children’s Services team work incredibly hard to support vulnerable young people. We are always looking for ways to improve the service so we can achieve the best outcome for those in our care.
“Our corporate mentoring scheme is a great example of that. It does not cost anything for council staff to offer support and guidance to young people, but it can make a huge difference to their lives.”
The full Ofsted report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/effective-leadership-of-childrens-services-joining-the-dots