Liverpool children's care praised by Ofsted

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Sammy-Jo Fitzpatrick
Image caption,
Sammy-Jo Fitzpatrick, 17, grew up in care and is a CiCC member

Liverpool has been ranked by Ofsted as one of the best two cities in England for its care of vulnerable children.

Inspectors graded it good for "overall effectiveness" and its "capacity for improvement", which has been matched only by Nottingham.

Ofsted spent three weeks interviewing young people and staff and found children in care "stated overwhelmingly that they feel safe".

It also praised the Children in Care Council (CiCC), which shapes policies.

Ofsted has carried out similar inspections of all of England's major cities except Newcastle.

The CiCC, made up of young people who are in care, helps contribute ideas about the way services are delivered, and assists staff in giving health advice and support to other youngsters.

Sammy-Jo Fitzpatrick, 17, a CiCC member said: "We are all really passionate about making sure the views of young people in care are heard because we have all got personal experiences of our own.

"We are really pleased that our work has been recognised by the inspectors as it shows we are genuinely making a difference to services."

Ofsted reviewed at random more than 50 case files on safeguarding and looked after children.

Out of 22 inspection categories, it graded five as outstanding and the remaining 17 as good.

'Dedicated staff'

The Ofsted report said: "The overall effectiveness of the council and its partners in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is good and high ambition for the safety of children and young people in the city is reflected in the priorities for service delivery".

Liverpool has 939 looked after children, of which 643 are in foster care, 139 are living with families and 15 are in the city's four children's homes.

Assistant director of children's safeguarding and quality services, Sandra Campbell, said: "This is a fantastic report which reflects the amazing hard work of our dedicated social work staff and partners every single day of the year.

"They are doing a tremendously difficult and challenging job supporting families that often have a chaotic lifestyle, and children that are not being given the best start in life.

"Their work may go unnoticed and unseen by most members of the public, but it is hugely valuable and important.

"They are making a tremendous difference to the lives of our most vulnerable young people."

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