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
Children’s Services in Sunderland remain under “Direction” and progress of Together for Children and our partners continues to be externally monitored and evaluated against the recommendations made by Ofsted.
Since the journey began in 2015, we have improved our productivity levels, the timeliness of our responses, strengthened our performance management arrangements and improved the quality of our practice.
Self-assessment and external scrutiny, including the three monitoring visits completed by Ofsted in relation to Care Leaver Services, Services for Children Looked After and Contact and Referral and Assessment, has demonstrated steady progress that has been made to date.