Child services cause for rating concerns

Fears emerged this week that some social services departments
received star ratings lower than they should have.

Some directors are concerned that information gathered as part of
the Victoria Climbie self-assessment carried out in April was then
fed into the star rating process and might have skewed

One of the questions on the audit which had asked directors about
their child protection policies, had led some directors to give
themselves an overly cautious assessment. They also say they were
unaware that the audit results would be a key performance

One director said councils had been given no opportunity to appeal
against the rating and that the government was now using the poorer
performance of children’s services compared with those for adults
to strengthen the case for a restructuring of children’s services,
as outlined in the children’s green paper.

Launching last week’s social services star ratings, children’s
minister Margaret Hodge said she was concerned that the figures
showed that nine fewer councils were serving children well as
opposed to adults.

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