We inspected in July 2017 to look the quality and effectiveness of children’s services.
The inspection examined how children and families access help, care and support services and how well care and support is provided to meet their needs and keep children safe.
The inspection also considered the quality of leadership, management and governance arrangements to develop and support services for children and young people.
We provided immediate feedback to the local authority on areas of serious concern and have been discussing with senior officers of the local authority the improvements needed. The local authority is required to produce an improvement plan in response to the report. We will closely monitor implementation of this plan.
Immediate priority (within 1 month)
- Ensure assessments are carried out within statutory timescales, in partnership with children and families.
- Take steps to improve the frequency, consistency and quality of supervision for front line staff.
- Monitor caseloads to ensure sufficient capacity for workers to engage effectively with children and their families.
- Provide strong corporate support for children’s services at Chief Executive level to ensure the pace of improvement is accelerated and sustained.
- Provide strong political support to children’s services at council leader and portfolio level and put in place well informed and effective scrutiny.
- Implement an assurance mechanism as a priority with regard to looked after children and children at risk.