THE county council has made “some progress” in how it deals with children at risk of child sexual exploitation, according to Ofsted.

During a visit to Worcestershire County Council at the start of January, inspectorate Ofsted also reviewed how the council deals with children who go missing from home or care.

In a letter to Catherine Driscoll, director of children services, social care inspectorate Ofsted said the council had made “some progress” but improvements were needed and it still had lessons to learn.

The positives in the report said vulnerable children are “proactively worked with” so risks can be identified and reduced and Ofsted found no instance of significant harm where the council had not responded.

Ofsted said the council’s “more effective” approach has reduced the number of children going missing and repeatedly going missing.

On the other hand, the report said the council could say how it identifies risk in areas such as gangs, drugs and county lines and how it shares information with partners such as the police but the system was not being fully used yet.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for children and families, said he was pleased by the improvements.

He said: “Our staff are working very hard and I am pleased that has been recognised.

“We are determined to reduce the risks that children and young people face from child sexual exploitation.

“We have recruited missing children officers to help to reduce the numbers of those children and young people who go missing.”

According to the report, children’s views are being sought in most cases and are valued in day-to-day life but is not reflected well enough in case records, plans or assessments particularly those who are harder to engage with.

The report added that assessments do not fully include the risks and vulnerabilities experienced by all young people.

Ofsted said CSE screening and risk assessment in some assessments – particularly referrals – are not always completed – meaning the council is missing the earliest opportunity to make more informed reports and plan better for the future.

The report said delayed meetings between different partners over child exploitation means risk cannot be reduced as quickly as it could be.

The report also said too many vulnerable young people were not in education, training or employment and that increased their vulnerability.

The risk has been made worse in some cases because of a poor partnership between social care and schools and colleges.

The county’s children’s services was rated inadequate by Ofsted in 2017.