In autumn 2015, Ofsted carried out an unannounced inspection of children's services in Lancashire. This was the county council's first inspection under the single inspection framework, which came into place in 2014. It focused on the experiences and progress of children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. It also included looking at the effectiveness of services and arrangements to help these children, including adoption and fostering.
The inspection involved 12 inspectors whose work included speaking to staff at all levels, to children and young people, and to representatives of a number of partner organisations. Much of the assessment involved reviewing documents but the inspectors also observed some frontline practice.
The inspectors identified a number of weaknesses which the council, with the support of its partner organisations, must now work to address. An improvement board will oversee the council's work to deliver improvements in response to the report.
The inspectors' findings also included positive feedback about a number of aspects of service delivery and practice. These included recognition that, at all levels, there is a commitment and will to succeed in delivering the best outcomes for children and young people.
Inspection reports prior to the introduction of the single inspection.