In November 2016 Ofsted inspectors carried out a four-week inspection of Sutton Council's children services and rated them as ‘Good'. This puts Sutton in the top 25% of councils in the country for their children's services.
Ofsted summarised that ‘Children’s Services in Sutton are good. The senior leadership team and elected members are committed and ambitious, and have a clear vision for service improvement.’
Sutton Council has made huge progress since its last inspection in 2012. Ofsted reported ‘leaders and managers have worked relentlessly since previous inspections’ and ‘partnership working is good at both strategic and operational levels in Sutton.’
Councillor Wendy Mathys, Lead Member for Children’s Services in Sutton, said: “I am pleased that the relentless improvements in the service since 2012 have been recognised. We have been determined to improve the services we provide to the most vulnerable children and families in our communities. We are grateful to our front line social work staff, their managers, our foster carers and other partners for their hard work and commitment.’’
Adoption services were found to be ‘Good’ and noted to be ‘a priority and strength in Sutton.’ Services for children who need help and protection were rated as ‘Good’ and inspectors reported that this makes a ‘significant difference’ to children and young people.
Inspectors went on to highlight:
- ‘Social workers see children regularly and work hard to ensure that they hear and act on children’s views.’
- ‘Foster carers demonstrate real warmth towards the children in their care and take pride in their achievements.’
- ‘Achieving permanent homes for children who need adoption is a priority and a strength in Sutton.’
- ‘Elected members are well-informed and have high aspirations for all children in Sutton.’
- ‘Children and young people are helped to contribute to their plans and reviews, and their views are listened to to help make services better. ’