Camden’s children’s services among country’s best after receiving ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted

Camden Council’s children’s services have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, placing Camden as one of the best performers in the country

The report, published today (Tuesday 21 June) following a visit by Ofsted inspectors in April, scored the overall effectiveness of the Council’s children’s service as ‘outstanding’ - the highest score that can be achieved.

Ofsted found that children and young people in Camden are not only well protected against harm and abuse – with early help services also playing an important role in picking up issues before they become worse - but children in care and care leavers are listened to and given a wide range of opportunities to progress and thrive.

Children’s social workers in Camden also said they were “proud” to work for the Council.

In the report, inspectors praised senior leaders, saying that “leaders pre-empt rather than react” and “corporate decision making is dynamic, informed and shaped by children and families at all levels of the organisation.”

Ofsted also made a reference to Camden’s response to the refugee crisis in Afghanistan saying, “the concerted and agile response to the sudden influx of people from Afghanistan seeking asylum was particularly impressive and involved key partners from both inside and outside the borough.”

Inspectors also paid tribute to senior leaders for their “inspirational” work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

This is fantastic news and proof of the commitment and dedication that staff from across our children’s services put in everyday to ensure the best services for our children and young people.

I’m proud that the report recognises that we put children and young people at the heart of everything we do as well as the sheer hard work from our staff who, despite the huge challenges that resulted from the pandemic, continued to provide an outstanding service. Congratulations to all.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
Councillor Marcus Boyland, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families

In Camden, supporting children and young people and ensuring they are safe and can flourish is at the very centre of our children’s services, and this clearly shines through in the Ofsted report.

I’d like to congratulate Martin Pratt and the entire team – you are a credit to the borough and the reason behind this excellent result.

Councillor Marcus Boyland, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families

I’m incredibly proud of the outcome of this inspection which is testament to our staff who work hard to make a real difference for children and young people who need our help and support across Camden – congratulations and thanks to all.

This is an incredible result, but the work will not stop here. We will build on what we’ve achieved so far and make further improvements to ensure we can continue to deliver the very best services for our children, young people as well as their carers and families.

Martin Pratt, Camden Council’s Executive Director of Supporting People

Today’s report highlights how social work practice in Camden is underpinned by relationships that value culture, identity and the uniqueness of individuals. I was particularly pleased to read about the effective work of partnerships, which exemplify a focus on prevention rather than intervention.

This judgement is a significant achievement and a testament to the hard work of Camden’s leadership team, managers and frontline staff, the wider council and safeguarding partners.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care

Ofsted visited Camden’s children’s services in April this year. Other findings in the report include:

  • Children and families in Camden benefit from good and outstanding services, some of which have been sustained over many years while others have further improved.
  • Practitioners and senior leaders identify potential harm and respond quickly with services that are designed by and with the community. This approach has been highly effective in reducing incidents of knife crime and violence.
  • Children receive exceptional care and support and are protected decisively from harm when required.
  • Corporate parenting for children in care and care leavers is taken extremely seriously, with leaders at all levels ensuring that they listen directly to children and reach out to key businesses and services in the borough to achieve good routes into gainful education and employment.
  • Camden’s early help services are well resourced, and children and families benefit from a wide choice of support and community-based services.
  • Social workers feel very well supported and enjoy working in Camden.

This is the second time Camden’s children’s services has been awarded this result after the Council’s Youth Justice Service was rated ‘outstanding’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation in May 2020.

Read the full Ofsted report