Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton's children's services rated as 'good'

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Media captionA foster child rates Wolverhampton's care scheme

Children's services in Wolverhampton have been rated "good" following an inspection by Ofsted.

The watchdog assessed the authority's services between January 16 and February 9 and found improvements since its last inspection in 2011.

Inspectors said parents had told them new services, brought in over the past 18 months, were "making a difference".

The council welcomed the report, but said it was "identifying areas where can do better".

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Inspectors assessed three key areas and ranked two - leadership and services for looked-after children - as "good".

The third area - children who need help and protection - was rated as "requires improvement".

In 2011, services in the city were ranked "adequate".

'The right help'

In 2013 the council closed two children's centres and reopened eight others as "strengthening family hubs" and inspectors said this seemed to be a difference.

"Services have been reconfigured in such a way as to bring together... family workers with health visitors, midwives and social workers," the report said.

"Parents told inspectors that it is making a difference to them and their families and that, increasingly, they are able to get the right help in the right way."

However, the report added the help and protection which children and young people receive requires improvement.

"The quality of analysis, assessments and plans... is variable," it said. "Some children are not getting the help and support that they need quickly enough."

Val Gibson, the authority's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Inspectors have scrutinised our services in minute detail, highlighting the many areas where we are performing well, and identifying areas where we can and will do better."

"We have developed a robust action plan to raise standards still further."

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