Hard work and a greater awareness of performance management in
social services departments and councils has resulted in a
“significant overall improvement” in the achievements of councils
in this year’s star ratings, by Community Care
The ratings reveal that 41 social services departments moved
upwards, while only six went down.
Of the 12 councils awarded zero stars in 2002, six were awarded
one star and one – East Sussex – was awarded two. However, five of
the councils awarded zero stars in 2002 remain put, and have been
joined by a further three struggling departments.
At the other end of the scale, the number of social services
departments boasting three stars has increased from 11 to 16.
Association of Directors of Social Services spokesperson for
performance and management Paul Snell said the improvements were
the culmination of a number of factors and reflected a greater
awareness and improved mechanisms of performance management, which
helped departments focus on delivery of services at the front
East Sussex social services director David Archibald said his
department was “very pleased” to be the most improved, adding that
its achievement reflected the huge amount of work carried out in
the last few years as well as greater political backing.
“Child protection is good and the number of foster carers and
adopters has increased while older people’s services, which were a
big problem, have been transformed,” Archibald said.
“Historically we admitted too many people into nursing and
residential care, which we’ve reduced by a third, and increased by
39 per cent the number of people receiving intensive home
Coventry and Haringey social services departments both welcomed
their move from the zero-star to one-star category after years on
A spokesperson for Cumbria social services department, which
fell from one-star to zero-stars, said the council was “very
disappointed”, and attributed the fall to problems in children’s
services. An interim director of social services and new head of
children’s services have now been appointed.
Three stars: 16 councils (Bexley, Blackburn
with Darwen, Bolton, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Kensington and Chelsea,
Kent, Kingston upon Thames, Kirklees, Knowsley, Leicestershire,
Newcastle upon Tyne, North Lincolnshire, Sunderland, Wandsworth,
Two stars: 74 councils
One star: 52 councils
Zero-stars: 8 councils (Bedforshire,
Birmingham, Bromley, Cumbria, Oldham, Plymouth, Swindon, Waltham