Mark Conrad 25 January 2017

Worcestershire criticised for 'serious failures’ in children’s services

Worcestershire County Council has apologised after inspectors found ‘widespread and serious failures’ in its children’s services.

An Ofsted report rated the county’s services for children who need help and protection, and those for looked after children, as inadequate. It also warned youngsters remain at ‘continual risk of serious harm’.

It is the second time in six years that the county’s children’s services have been rated as inadequate by Ofsted.

The report read: ‘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.’

In response, the council is proposing to invest an extra £3.5m into safeguarding children from April.

Clare Marchant, the council's chief executive, said: ‘I want to say sorry to children and families where the level of service that we have provided has not been good enough. We accept the findings and I can assure you that we are working hard to improve outcomes for our children.

‘We have made our plan more robust and we have accelerated the pace of delivery.’

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