Experts from Essex have been brought in to work alongside Worcestershire County Council’s children's services team after county was criticised for ‘serious failures’ in its services for children.
Essex County Council has been formally appointed as Worcestershire's Improvement Partner due to their record of improving their own services and working with other councils to deliver improvements for children.
An Ofsted report published last January rated Worcestershire's services for children who need help and protection, and those for looked after children, as inadequate for the second time in six years.
The report warned, ‘Elected members and senior leaders have not taken sufficient action to ensure the protection of vulnerable children. This corporate failure leaves children in Worcestershire at continued risk of significant harm.’
Cllr Andy Roberts, Worcestershire CC’s cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, welcomed the support of Essex CC and said Worcestershire had allocated an extra £5.1m into improving children's social care this year.
‘I am pleased that Essex County Council has now been formally appointed as our Improvement Partner,’ he said.
‘Essex will support us to deliver the improvements that we need to deliver.’
The appointment has been approved by Trevor Doughty, the department for education's commissioner for children's services in Worcestershire, who also recommended in a report published today the council place Children's Services into a different form.
Worcestershire said this recommendation would be discussed at this month's cabinet meeting.
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