Inspectors find serious shortcomings in social services at Welsh authority

A highly critical joint review of social services in Blaenau
Gwent has found that the authority is not serving people well and
has poor prospects for improvement, writes Alex

The report from the Audit Commission and the Social Services
Inspectorate for Wales, highlighted unacceptable weaknesses in
children’s services, with the authority failing to comply with its
statutory duties in respect of children at risk. It also said that
arrangements at the frontline do not support safe, purposeful work
with children and families.

The inspection team found too that the council does not have a
reliable up-to-date record of the numbers and placement location of
looked after children.

The report also said that services for adults are in need of
radical overhaul if they are to be both affordable and support
people who want to maintain their independence. According to the
report, the council supports many older people, but the use of
residential care is high, and this approach is not sustainable.

Malcolm Newsam, assistant director of joint reviews, said: “This
is a wake up call to the council to improve their social services.
The range and quality of services is poor and the people of Blaenau
Gwent deserve better. There is limited choice for most people and
in particular, children’s services require urgent attention.”

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