The lives of the most vulnerable children in East Sussex are being improved by “consistently strong and effective” support, an Ofsted inspection has found.

The help, protection and care children and young people are receiving from East Sussex County Council earned an overall good rating, while inspectors found the experiences and progress of children in care to be outstanding.

A similar category, called the "experiences and progress of care leavers", was rated requires improvement in 2014, but by 2018 this new category was introduced and was rated outstanding. 

The report, by inspector Tom Anthony, said when children or families in East Sussex need help it is provided as soon as possible with social workers and other professionals taking actions to make children at risk safer.

Published on Tuesday, February 6, it also praised the dedication and efforts of social workers.

Inspectors noted that they get to know the children in their care well, earn their trust, and work with specialist services to make a “big difference to children’s lives”.

Councillor Bob Bowdler, lead member for children and families, said: “The work that our children's services department do is often extremely complex."

“Our social workers and support staff do an amazing job day in, day out, despite the growing pressures the service faces, and I am delighted that their efforts have been recognised by Ofsted inspectors.”

As well as praise for officers, inspectors found that leaders in the council wanted to do the best for children and families with support for vulnerable children being a priority.  The report said workers and personal advisers feel valued and supported, and love working in East Sussex.

The report also highlighted areas where some improvements could be made including improving the quality of plans for children and care leavers so they are specific and measurable, better record keeping for management oversight and improved oversight of responses to children experiencing neglect and entering into private fostering arrangements.

Cllr Bowdler added: “Despite the positive comments and good rating in the latest inspection, we will not rest on our laurels and will be turning our attention to the areas where Ofsted has highlighted areas for possible improvement to ensure that every child in East Sussex receives the best care possible.”