Home news Worcestershire children's services to be taken over

Worcestershire children's services to be taken over

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Child protection services in Worcestershire must be run externally, the government says.An inspection by Ofsted found “widespread and serious failures” and service was given an inadequate rating in January.A government-appointed commissioner has now ruled the authority should hand over its children’s social care department to an outside operator. The council has until December to look at possible options. The inspection report, which covered the time between 24 October and 17 November last year, said “inconsistent leadership and an insufficient number of staff at all levels contributed to a fundamental weakness in practice”.The response to child sexual exploitation was also “not thorough enough.”‘Long-term improvements’At the time the council said it was proposing to invest an extra £3.5m into safeguarding children from April.In a statement on Tuesday, it said it had allocated an extra £5.1m for children’s social care this year.But Trevor Doughty, who was appointed the department for education’s commissioner for children’s services in the county after the inadequate rating, has decided progress has been too slow and ruled an outside body should take over.Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for children and families, said the authority it was working with Essex Council to help it improve.”Our priority is to make sure that long-term improvements are made to children and young people’s lives in Worcestershire,” he said.A new plan for children and young people in the county will be launched next week.The council will remain legally responsible for the 760 children who are currently in care in the county, at a cost of about £35m annually.
Source: Worcester News