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Sunderland's children's services praised

After their 5th visit OFSTED summarized the findings of the monitoring visit stating that the local authority is making sustained progress in improving services for its children and young people.

They found evidence of progress in many areas, including the timeliness of decision-making on contacts and referrals, improved management oversight and better staff stability in some teams. They found that clear strategies are being developed to support practice and address staff recruitment but that there are still significant areas of performance and practice that need to improve, especially in respect of the high number of re-referrals, the timeliness of assessments and management oversight of the quality of practice.

They have suggested that TfC now needs to strengthen its focus on the quality of social work practice, especially in improving assessments and planning to ensure that the life experiences and outcomes for vulnerable children improve.