Mark Conrad 04 August 2015

Councils improving quality of assessments for vulnerable children says watchdog

Councils improving quality of assessments for vulnerable children says watchdog image

Councils have made good progress in improving the quality of assessments for vulnerable children, but some concerns over child protection remain, a new report has warned.

A study by Ofsted pointed to 'steady progress being made in the quality, efficacy and timeliness of the assessments given to children and families’.

After examining 123 cases from 10 local authorities, inspectors found almost two-thirds (63%) of assessments were carried out 'promptly'. Ofsted also found that ‘in the majority of cases’, social workers were talking and listening to children and using children’s views to inform their work.

However, in a quarter of cases, inspectors suggested, assessments had ‘not been timely enough, leaving too many children in circumstances where they were at potential risk of harm’.

In eight local authority areas, inspectors also identified specific problems with delays in accessing child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said: ‘The improvement in the quality of care assessments is encouraging.

‘It is clear that local authorities and partners are taking this work seriously.

‘However, there is still more to do before we can be assured that all children and families are receiving the high standards of care required.’

Deputy chairman of the Local Government Association, Cllr David Simmonds, said: ‘Carrying out care assessments for vulnerable children is only a small part of the bigger picture.

‘Councils need a million eyes and ears in the community if they are to protect children effectively.

‘This depends on other agencies, including the NHS and police, and we look forward to Ofsted bringing in a more effective focus on partnership working in future inspections.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Youth Worker

Camden London Borough Council
£26,437 + £3,253 Inner London Allowance Pro Rata
Are you an experienced and passionate Youth Worker looking to make a real difference to the lives of young people in Camden? Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Tree Officer

Camden London Borough Council
We are looking for an experienced arboricultural professional to join a busy Tree Section working with the most up to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Adults Social Workers - Basildon

Essex County Council
Working to support adults and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusion, or diminishe England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Engineer

Lincolnshire County Council
£35,745 - £39,880
Are you an experienced Engineer looking for a new challenge? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Systems Development Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£27,741 - £30,451
Are you passionate about technology and systems development? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue