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An external peer review team has praised the council’s children’s services, following an independent four-day review in June.
The review saw an expert panel conduct an extensive appraisal which involved speaking with more than 100 people - including young people, foster carers, practitioners, managers and partners - alongside observing meetings, reviewing documentation and visiting various settings.
The full feedback report, which has recently been published on the council website, shows that the peer review team found a positive culture, a child-centred approach to work and a workforce that is committed and motivated to provide the best possible support and care for Warrington’s children and young people.
The peer review also found that the council works positively with partners, has effective leadership and has in place a number of resources to help young people in care and those who have recently left care.
The report highlighted that whilst the council’s children’s services are performing highly, the council needs to continue its work to ensure there are sufficient placements available for children taken into care, and should also consider further opportunities to invest in “grow your own” initiatives to retain and nurture social workers – including using more apprenticeships and developing stronger links with local education partners. The report also highlighted further opportunities for the council to play a more prominent role in supporting young people into employment.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Sarah Hall, said “This report is validation of the excellent support that our children’s services are continuing to provide in Warrington. It demonstrates the hard work, commitment and dedication of the entire children’s services workforce and it is clear that officers are highly thought of and are continuing to provide a trusted, high-quality service.
“Young people in care, on the edge of care, and those who have recently left care, may find that there are more barriers for them to overcome and more challenges than most will face in their younger years.
“It is therefore very heartening to read that our children’s services have been reviewed so positively and that the peer review team agree that we are delivering on our ambitions for young people.”