William Eichler 10 June 2016

Sandwell children’s services facing move to voluntary trust

Children’s social care services at Sandwell Council could be transferred to a voluntary trust, after being rated as 'inadequate' by inspectors last year.

Discussions are currently underway between the council and the Department of Education (DfE) concerning proposals to either move children’s social care to a voluntary trust or to appoint an executive commissioner to oversee care.

Last June, Ofsted said it found ‘widespread and serious failures' in children's services, a decision that was challenged by the council at the time.

The council's cabinet member for children’s services, cllr Simon Hackett, said: ‘The most important thing is making sure that vulnerable children in Sandwell have the best possible support available – that’s what this process is all about.

‘We’re working with the DfE to make sure we find the right solutions to issues raised by the commissioner. This will put us in the best position for long term sustainable improvements to help support children in our borough.

‘There is a clear commitment from everyone at Sandwell Council to drive improvements in children’s social care. Whatever decision is taken must be a positive step towards making those improvements.’

Last month, children’s services at Birmingham City Council were also transferred to a trust, after being branded a ‘national disgrace’ by inspectors.

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