Laura Sharman 11 April 2022

Government intervenes over council's 'inadequate' children's services

Government intervenes over councils inadequate childrens services image
Image: spixel /

The Government has issued a statutory direction to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council forcing it to improve its children’s social care services.

The move comes after a visit from Ofsted in 2020 which found children living in the area 'were not protected effectively'.

A subsequent inspection last December found the council's children's services were still 'inadequate'.

The inspection found: 'There are still serious and widespread weaknesses in the quality of children’s services that leave vulnerable children at risk of harm. Specialist services aside, the core business of reducing the risks to children in need of help and protection is yet to have a consistent and effective impact.'

The direction requires the council to take steps to improve its children’s social care services including working with the appointed adviser, John Coughlan.

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: 'The appointment of John Coughlan as the improvement adviser for children’s services represents an important and positive next step as part of our activity to improve BCP Council’s children’s services.

'The improvement adviser will support the council in continuing to develop and implement robust, realistic and achievable plans to improve BCP Council’s children’s social care functions.

'Whilst the report identified areas that required improvement, Ofsted also recognised that the key building blocks are in place to drive improvements and highlighted where services are showing progression and working successfully.'

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