The tri-borough Children’s Services offered by Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham, have made history by becoming the first in the country to be awarded an “outstanding” rating by Ofsted after an inspection in early 2016.
Westminster Councillor and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Danny Chalkley, said: “I am delighted to see the staff who work so tirelessly to protect Westminster’s children being recognised for their care, compassion, and dedication.”
“Westminster City Council has always strived for excellence,” Chalkley said, stressing that “nowhere is this more important than in the work we do to keep the city’s most vulnerable young people safe.”
The Ofsted report found that Children’s Services in Westminster and the tri-borough area have made “significant and sustained improvements have been made since the last inspection in October 2011, when services were judged to be good.”
Staff are described by the report as “well-trained and impressive social workers” who are “patient, tenacious and respectful”, and make a “vast difference” in keeping children safe from harm, according to Ofsted.
Currently, 179 children are taken care of by the council. Ofsted says that the “enduring relationships” between children and the “committed, skilled and determined social workers” of Westminster have resulted in “children and young people doing well in education and feeling stable and safe.”
As well as finding adoption services particularly outstanding, the report also highlighted the work being done to protect children from sexual exploitation, including: “excellent initiatives” offering protection from “radicalisation, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and honour-based violence.”