There are alarming trends made visible in the annual report.
- an unplanned and significant drop in the use residential child care
- a continued increase in the number of children’s homes may result in a decrease in places
- a national approach to commissioning these specialist services is necessary and long overdue (Sufficiency is the wrong way to be thinking, and it may be that commissioning is wrong method)
In this Annual Report Ofsted show what is not working and give direction as to the remedy.
It is not a question only of homes and places but of the development of the multi professional workforce to meet high level complex needs. This too requires analysis and strategic governmental investment, a market solution is not appearing.
Its comments need to be heard by the Care Review, ‘There is a lack of focus on the risks to children and a failure to deliver timely, purposeful and effective help and protection.
Ofsted are very clear, ‘there needs to be clarity about the funding for and accountability of all partners in providing help and protection services’.
The unplanned and significant drop in the provision of the fullest range of residential child care should be very worrying for the Care Review. To date it has been fixated on a few issues and the concerns are wider than its current focus. This report gives a firm nudge that blinkers must be removed.
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NCERCC analysis and commentary re Ofsted annual report 2021