Improving Standards in Children’s Social Care

It’s imperative that standards within children’s social care continue to improve. With high standards, social care provides young people with the tools to build trust with their social workers and move past any trauma they may have experienced.

Since the introduction of the 2004 Children Act, local authorities have been responsible for the general overseeing of effective services for children. A Wilderness Way works with the LGA to ensure the delivery of high standards for young people within our social care. This includes:

Changes in social worker

It is worrying to find that the 2019 Stability Index Report states that three out of every five children in social care have experienced at least one change of social worker within the last year. The most common source of disruption continues to be a switch in practitioner, and this change can be distressing and make life much more chaotic for children who need support.

At A Wilderness Way, our service matrix structure ensures that all children within our social care receive the same social worker from the point of assessment to when the case is closed. Our dedicated workers stay with the young people for long periods of time which allows the staff to gather detailed rapports and build strong relationships.

In children’s social care, we believe in the power of relationships and with a specific care worker, damaged caused from past relationships can be mended. Therefore, we also make sure that children within social care with specific vulnerabilities receive proficient services to assess concerns and find ways that their dedicated social worker can reduce risk.

Case recording

A child in social care is likely to have files full of information about significant events and situations that have occurred, such as a placement move. It is essential to the development of that child that these events are recorded accurately and appropriately, so that social workers are always up to date with their young person’s journey. This record should be clear, easy to understand and informative but should also be descriptive and explain why certain decisions were made when supporting that child.

A Wilderness Way always ensures high-quality recording to portray to inspectors, such as Ofsted and The Scottish Care Inspectorate, the relationship between social worker and child. We do not want inspectors to feel that a child is not ‘visible’ with reports of only factual information that does not show personal development. Our professional analysis and evaluation draw an accurate representation of a child’s lived experience.

Outstanding service

An Ofsted report will tell you lots of information about the social care a child experiences. Ofsted who are the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, are a government authority that both inspect and regulate the delivery of education services.

From working with vulnerable children in social care, A Wilderness Way believe that it is important to receive a good grade in the reports Ofsted carry out. It is imperative that the children are cared for in the best way possible in order to develop into independent young adults.

We have received an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’ for the second year in a row. This rating comes under the leadership and management of Hannah who has worked on developing high standards within our social care provision. You can read more about A Wilderness Way’s approach to Children’s social care here.

The Ofsted inspection states ‘all children and young people thrive, and they make progress while living at the home. Because of the services provided, the children and young people experience an individualised, stable and consistent home life’. The report focused primarily on our location, building of relationships and expert knowledge. Find out more in our blog ‘Our Ofsted Registered Children’s Home Has Been Rated ‘Outstanding‘.

If you have any questions regarding the standard of our social work, please email

What Others Say About Us

I am truly taken aback by the level of care you have shown. The staff have gone out of their way to show him the attention and care that he has never had. When I visited him, it was like I was looking at a different child to what he was before he came. He was not like a child in care, he was like a child in a family. You have literally saved his life.

Social Worker

All children and young people thrive, and they make progress while living at the home. Because of the services provided the children and young people experience an individualised, stable and consistent home life. Children and young people benefit from the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to education and care. They each achieve their full potential and, in many cases, do so beyond previous expectations.


I am so grateful to the AWW team for their dedication and commitment to caring and supporting Sam. He recently reported that being at there gave him the space to think and the opportunity to reflect on his attitude and make plans for his future.

Social Worker

I have to share my delight at Luke’s progress at AWW. Thanks to your support, in the last 17 weeks Luke and has turned his life around significantly. From where he has come from to where he is now, I am so proud of him.

Social Worker

The placement was really good and beneficial to me. The staff were all really supportive and nice and always made themselves available to me if I had any problems. The outdoor activities that were offered helped me to have a better outlook and showed me that I can do so much more in life, and it really helped me process and made me feel like a better person.


As METCO Officer for Cumbria Police I have regular contact with the team at AWW in relation to vulnerable children at risk of CSE and going missing. If a specific incident has occurred, the Home Manager and I speak on the phone to discuss the best way forward. She also attends CSE risk assessment meetings and we receive Philomena Protocol forms when a young person arrives in placement.

Cumbria Police