It’s fair to say there’s a buzz in the air at Adopt Coast to Coast as our partner Together for Children – who deliver children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council – received the news that it has been awarded an outstanding Ofsted rating!
Not only has the Together for Children service achieved the highest possible Ofsted rating following recent inspection, but it is the first in the country to make the leap from Inadequate to Outstanding.
This national first, makes Sunderland one of only 18 local authorities in England and one of only four local authorities in the North of England to be rated Outstanding.
When referencing adoption in their report Ofsted said
Adoption is considered in a timely way, and children are matched and placed with adoptive parents at the earliest opportunity. The preparation, assessment and approval of applicants is strong. Good-quality information-sharing, training and a high level of support from adoption workers are instrumental in achieving positive adoptive homes for children. Foster to adopt is promoted. Staff are ceaseless and proactive when looking for prospective adopters for children, including children with complex needs. Additional support needs are identified in the placements and suitable arrangements are made to reduce the risk of any placement breakdown.
Paula Gibbons, Head of Service for Adopt Coast to Coast said: “We are delighted by Ofsted’s Outstanding rating of Together for Children. The adoption team work incredibly hard to provide support, and guidance to prospective adopters at every stage in their adoption journey. Since the launch of our RAA I have always believed they were outstanding. Now it’s official! Everyone from birth parents, to prospective adopters, adoptive parents, social workers and most importantly the babies and children in care receive the same, high quality level of care and assistance from the team and it is a pleasure to see their commitment and tenacity officially recognised by Ofsted.
“In Adopt Coast to Coast we are particularly passionate about making sure children are placed with their adoptive families as early as possible so they can benefit from secure attachments and that prospective adopters receive all of the support and training they need, so it was wonderful to see this noted in the report as one of the adoption team’s strongest points.”
Alongside recognition of the adoption service the report also noted:
- Together for Children and Sunderland City Council are aspirational for their cared for children and young people.
- Hearing the voice of the child is an exceptional strength in Sunderland.
- The quality of services for cared for children and care experienced young people is consistently of a high quality.
- Early help is an innovative, multi-agency service that ensures children and families get the right support at the right time.
- Strong and effective partnership working helps to better protect children from harm.
- Staff work tirelessly to ensure children are at the centre of all work and interventions and are strong advocates for their children.
- High-quality and timely decisions are made to ensure that children become cared for at a time that is right for them.
The full report outlining Ofsted’s findings from the inspection can be read at Ofsted | Sunderland City Council.