Chris Mahony 21 February 2022

Children left 'at unknown risk' in Solihull

Children left at unknown risk in Solihull image
Image: Elliott Brown / flickr

Children in need of help and protection in Solihull wait too long for their initial assessment – leaving them at unknown risk, a joint inspectorates’ report has warned.

The report was commissioned in December following the conviction of a father and stepmother for the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

It concluded the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) had been under-resourced, and said the local safeguarding children partnership ‘lacked a clear understanding’ of the experiences of children and families in need.

The report, which found some children wait more than a month for a first assessment, read: ‘The MASH is significantly under-resourced by all partner agencies.

This means that too many children in Solihull face drift and delay in having multi-agency decisions made to assess their need, reduce risk and provide proportionate interventions.’

While acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 the inspectors found ‘long-term systemic issues that cannot be entirely attributed to the impact of the pandemic and have not had a sufficiently robust and sustained response’.

The report noted that publicity around Arthur’s murder had hampered efforts to address long-standing social work recruitment issues.

Solihull must now submit a statement of proposed action to Ofsted by the end of May.

Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, said: 'I acknowledge and accept the findings of the JTAI which was undertaken because of the recent court case concerning the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was killed by the very people meant to love and care for him. We cannot bring Arthur back but we can ensure that safeguarding in Solihull is as good as it can be.

'We are committed to working with our partners to deliver the required improvements, as detailed in the JTAI, to improve safeguarding in Solihull. The JTAI found several weaknesses across the partnership and within some of the organisations.

'During the JTAI we explained to inspectors that we recognised there were areas for improvement within the Council as evidenced by our existing improvement plan, but also understood we need to update this so that we can implement the necessary changes more quickly.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.