WORK to care for vulnerable North Yorkshire children has been praised by a Government minister.

Ofsted has placed North Yorkshire County Council among the top authorities in the country for its care and protection of children, having been judged “good” in every category of its service for children in need of protection and for looked-after children as well as care leavers.

North Yorkshire County Council has been sent a letter of congratulation by the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson.

The report says the authority has clear plans in place to become outstanding and inspectors praised a change of culture in North Yorkshire under a “new and experienced” director of children’s services, Pete Dwyer, who came from City of York Council, and his senior leadership team, which has led to improvements in partnership working, the quality of services and outcomes for children and young people.

In his letter to council leader John Weighell, Mr Timpson said: “I recognise that local authorities face significant challenges in delivering really effective children’s social care services” and went on to say that “North Yorkshire has made considerable progress in a relatively short period of time”.

He added: “I note your outstanding work on adoption performance, including in preparation, training and support for adoptive families.”

Mr Timpson called on the authority to share its learning with other authorities.

A council spokesman said: “At a time when local authority children’s services are under intense scrutiny and criticism for failing to provide support to many at-risk children and for letting others slip through the net, Ofsted has clearly commended North Yorkshire for its early help services: describing children who are at risk of harm being ‘identified, supported and protected well’ and children most at risk receiving ‘timely and effective’ multi-agency help.”