VULNERABLE Staffordshire children are very well protected, according to the latest Ofsted inspection of children's services.
A three week inspection of Staffordshire County Council's services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers rated them as Good in every category, with no areas needing urgent improvement.
The rating comes under Ofsted's new, tougher inspection regime
The inspection also found that the county's work with its partners, through the Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB), was Good, the first time under the new Ofsted regime that an authority and its Local Safeguarding Children's Board were both rated Good simultaneously.
The new rating comes less than two and a half years since the council's Families First Service was deemed to be performing poorly helping and protecting children.
Mike Lawrence, Staffordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Communities, Localism and Children, said: "This rating means children in Staffordshire are safe. Not only does it recognise good safeguarding of children in care, with good quality services where people listen and take account of the child's wishes, but good early intervention at the appropriate time in the appropriate way to keep children out of care.
"We have moved from under-performing in 2011 to being in the top 30 per cent in the country now.
"It also shows that those leaving the system are safe, supported and listened to. This is an outstanding performance by a team of dedicated professionals, who have worked very hard to achieve this result."
The inspection took place between January 14 and February 5 2014.
Inspectors spent most of their time talking to frontline staff, children and foster parents.
This is the first time that several child protection areas have been brought together under one inspection.