Child protection services at Birmingham deemed inadequate
An unannounced Ofsted investigation has found Birmingham City Council’s children’s services to be inadequate and has demanded a series of improvements are made.
After investigations in 2011 found that the quality of the council’s child protection services had been getting better, the most recent Ofsted report judged that such improvements had been undertaken too slowly.
Children subject to child protection plans in Birmingham must receive statutory visits within appropriate timescales, the report recommended.
Ofsted emphasised that delays in long-term child protection had to be eradicated by the authority through an overhaul of information gathering and assessment services.
The quality of assessments also had to be improved in Birmingham, ensuring that they remain robust risk evaluations, the study said.
Appraisal systems were criticised for not fully involving families and children and Birmingham City Council was told to implement a single recording system for the use of a common assessment framework.
Finally, the Ofsted report informed the town hall that child protection team managers had to be fully equipped to understand and challenge unacceptable practise.
Birmingham City Council has said that it is addressing each of Ofsted’s recommendations.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ‘This report makes very distressing reading. Though some improvement has been recognised, it is simply not acceptable that services for children and families in our city continue to be poor.
‘We are clear about what needs to be done and we have already put systems in place, such as intensive training programmes so staff learn from our best managers, improved risk management and helping partners understand how best to give quality referrals. There must be significant improvement over the next 12 months to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect every child in this city,’ Bore added.
Cllr Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said: ‘This report confirms that we are still not in the right place, and it is totally unacceptable that children’s safeguarding services in Birmingham have been so poor for so long. However, the report does recognise that we are moving in the right direction and I am absolutely committed to ensuring that these services continue to improve thoroughly and urgently, and on a sustainable basis.’
Sir Albert Bore states "there must be significant improvement over the next 12 months", sadly that may not be soon enough for some vulnerable children. Why can't Councils learn the lessons of Haringey and all the distress that came with that inaction of so-called childcare staff?David Hankey, Added: Friday, 19 October 2012 05:23 PM
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