Quality of children’s services improving

Council children’s services improved markedly this year, as did children’s social care services. The annual performance assessments show 84 per cent of councils were providing good or better services, scoring three or four in the overall children’s services judgement, up from three-quarters last year.

Eighty-nine per cent of councils were also found to have a good or excellent capacity to improve their children’s services, up from 86 per cent in 2005.

Just under three-quarters of councils scored three or four for children’s social care, compared to just under two-thirds last year.

Andrew Webb, co-chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services children and families committee, welcomed the results, particularly as the year they covered, ending in March 2006, involved the most structural upheaval for council children’s services.

He added: “I would expect and hope they will continue to improve this coming year.”

This year’s performance results cover only 102 of 150 councils. It excludes those councils that have recently had or are due to have joint area reviews.

The annual assessment and the three-yearly reviews are to be abolished as part of government inspection reforms announced last week


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