An Ofsted inspection of children’s services in Sunderland in 2015 identified a number of serious failings. As a result, children’s services were placed under “Direction” by the Department for Education. Sunderland City Council and the Department for Education then reached agreement to consider an alternative service model. The development of Together for Children began following that decision.
Where we are now
Together for Children, an alternative delivery model for children's services, was launched in April 2017. Since then we have improved our productivity levels, the timeliness of our responses, strengthened our performance management arrangements and improved the quality of our practice.
Our most recent full Ofsted inspection in summer 2018 saw improvements across the board, with three out of five areas moving out of the previous 'inadequate' rating. Adoption is now rated good, with both Services for Children Looked after and Care Leavers moving up to 'requires improvement'.
The focus now is to build on this steady progress and address the key areas identified by Ofsted for improvement.